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  1. Abstract

    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.