Chiral magnets have recently emerged as hosts for topological spin textures and related transport phenomena, which can find use in next-generation spintronic devices. The coupling between structural chirality and noncollinear magnetism is crucial for the stabilization of complex spin structures such as magnetic skyrmions. Most studies have been focused on the physical properties in homochiral states favored by crystal growth and the absence of long-ranged interactions between domains of opposite chirality. Therefore, effects of the high density of chiral domains and domain boundaries on magnetic states have been rarely explored so far. Herein, we report layered heterochiral Cr1/3TaS2, exhibiting numerous chiral domains forming topological defects and a nanometer-scale helimagnetic order interlocked with the structural chirality. Tuning the chiral domain density, we discovered a macroscopic topological magnetic texture inside each chiral domain that has an appearance of a spiral magnetic superstructure composed of quasiperiodic Néel domain walls. The spirality of this object can have either sign and is decoupled from the structural chirality. In weak, in-plane magnetic fields, it transforms into a nonspiral array of concentric ring domains. Numerical simulations suggest that this magnetic superstructure is stabilized by strains in the heterochiral state favoring noncollinear spins. Our results unveil topological structure/spinmore »
Polar skyrmions are predicted to emerge from the interplay of elastic, electrostatic and gradient energies, in contrast to the key role of the anti-symmetric Dzyalozhinskii-Moriya interaction in magnetic skyrmions. Here, we explore the reversible transition from a skyrmion state (topological charge of −1) to a two-dimensional, tetratic lattice of merons (with topological charge of −1/2) upon varying the temperature and elastic boundary conditions in [(PbTiO3)
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Topological spin/structure couplings in layered chiral magnet Cr 1/3 TaS 2 : The discovery of spiral magnetic superstructure
Magnetic skyrmions are swirling spin structures stabilized typically by the Dyzaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. The existing control of magnetic skyrmions has often relied on the use of an electric current, which may cause overheating in densely packed devices. Here we demonstrate, using phase-field simulations, that an isolated Néel skyrmion in a magnetic nanodisk can be repeatedly created and deleted by voltage-induced strains from a juxtaposed piezoelectric. Such a skyrmion switching is non-volatile, and consumes only ~0.5 fJ per switching which is about five orders of magnitude smaller than that by current-induced spin-transfer-torques. It is found that the strain-mediated skyrmion creation occurs through an intermediate vortex-like spin structure, and that the skyrmion deletion occurs though a homogenous shrinkage during which the Néel wall is temporarily transformed to a vortex-wall. These findings are expected to stimulate experimental research into strain-mediated voltage control of skyrmions, as well as other chiral spin structures for low-power spintronics.
The interplay between band topology and magnetism can give rise to exotic states of matter. For example, magnetically doped topological insulators can realize a Chern insulator that exhibits quantized Hall resistance at zero magnetic field. While prior works have focused on ferromagnetic systems, little is known about band topology and its manipulation in antiferromagnets. Here, we report that MnBi2Te4is a rare platform for realizing a canted-antiferromagnetic (cAFM) Chern insulator with electrical control. We show that the Chern insulator state with Chern number
C= 1 appears as the AFM to canted-AFM phase transition happens. The Chern insulator state is further confirmed by observing the unusual transition of the C= 1 state in the cAFM phase to the C= 2 orbital quantum Hall states in the magnetic field induced ferromagnetic phase. Near the cAFM-AFM phase boundary, we show that the dissipationless chiral edge transport can be toggled on and off by applying an electric field alone. We attribute this switching effect to the electrical field tuning of the exchange gap alignment between the top and bottom surfaces. Our work paves the way for future studies on topological cAFM spintronics and facilitates the development of proof-of-concept Chern insulator devices.
Noncollinear spin textures in low-dimensional magnetic systems have been studied for decades because of their extraordinary properties and promising applications derived from the chirality and topological nature. However, material realizations of topological spin states are still limited. Employing first-principles and Monte Carlo simulations, we propose that monolayer chromium trichloride (CrCl3) can be a promising candidate for observing the vortex/antivortex type of topological defects, so-called merons. The numbers of vortices and antivortices are found to be the same, maintaining an overall integer topological unit. By perturbing with external magnetic fields, we show the robustness of these meron pairs and reveal a rich phase space to tune the hybridization between the ferromagnetic order and meron-like defects. The signatures of topological excitations under external magnetic field also provide crucial information for experimental justifications. Our study predicts that two-dimensional magnets with weak spin-orbit coupling can be a promising family for realizing meron-like spin textures.
Magnetostatic twists in room-temperature skyrmions explored by nitrogen-vacancy center spin texture reconstruction
Magnetic skyrmions are two-dimensional non-collinear spin textures characterized by an integer topological number. Room-temperature skyrmions were recently found in magnetic multilayer stacks, where their stability was largely attributed to the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction. The strength of this interaction and its role in stabilizing the skyrmions is not yet well understood, and imaging of the full spin structure is needed to address this question. Here, we use a nitrogen-vacancy centre in diamond to measure a map of magnetic fields produced by a skyrmion in a magnetic multilayer under ambient conditions. We compute the manifold of candidate spin structures and select the physically meaningful solution. We find a Néel-type skyrmion whose chirality is not left-handed, contrary to preceding reports. We propose skyrmion tube-like structures whose chirality rotates through the film thickness. We show that NV magnetometry, combined with our analysis method, provides a unique tool to investigate this previously inaccessible phenomenon.