Topologically nontrivial spin textures have recently been investigated for spintronic applications. Here, we report on an ultrathin magnetic film in which individual skyrmions can be written and deleted in a controlled fashion with local spin-polarized currents from a scanning tunneling microscope. An external magnetic field is used to tune the energy landscape, and the temperature is adjusted to prevent thermally activated switching between topologically distinct states. Switching rate and direction can then be controlled by the parameters used for current injection. The creation and annihilation of individual magnetic skyrmions demonstrates the potential for topological charge in future information-storage concepts.
Romming, Niklas; Hanneken, Christian; Menzel, Matthias; Bickel, Jessica E.; Wolter, Boris; von Bergmann, Kirsten; Kubetzka, André; and Wiesendanger, Roland, "Writing and Deleting Single Magnetic Skyrmions" (2013). Physics Faculty Publications. 198.
This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science on 341 and August 9. 2013, DOI: 10.1126/science.1240573