Read up about MAGNETIC SKYRMIONS in the UK Magnetic Society's quarterly magazine, MagNews.
Skyrmions are topologically stable, vortex-like magnetization states that form periodic, three-fold symmetric lattices. They were observed in non-centrosymmetric crystals, such as B20 systems, in which the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction plays a role, using small angle neutron scattering and magnetotransport measurements (topological Hall effect), and in real space using Lorentz transmission electron microscopy. Since each Skyrmion can carry one bit of (binary) information, the crystal itself can be regarded as a high-density, non-volatile information matrix. Most interestingly, the Skyrmion state can be simply manipulated with current densities that are 5-6 orders of magnitude smaller than the ones needed for spin transfer torque (STT)-based schemes. Moreover, direct logic communication can be achieved by introducing the interaction and propagation of vortex/anti-vortex pairs. The value of the Skyrmionics devices lie in the fast and efficient evaluation of suitable materials for STT-MRAM scaling beyond the 65-nm- node, as well as novel emerging memory and logic applications which could become possible by making use of these intriguing physical properties.
For more details on our work, we refer to Shilei Zhang's book on "Chiral and Topological Nature of Magnetic Skyrmions" (Springer, 2018).