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Nat Commun. 2013;4:1463. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2442.

Universal current-velocity relation of skyrmion motion in chiral magnets.

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  • 1Department of Applied Physics, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113 8656, Japan.


Current-driven motion of the magnetic domain wall in ferromagnets is attracting intense attention because of potential applications such as racetrack memory. There, the critical current density to drive the motion is ~10(9)-10(12) A m(-2). The skyrmions recently discovered in chiral magnets have much smaller critical current density of ~10(5)-10(6) A m(-2), but the microscopic mechanism is not yet explored. Here we present a numerical simulation of Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation, which reveals a remarkably robust and universal current-velocity relation of the skyrmion motion driven by the spin-transfer-torque unaffected by either impurities or nonadiabatic effect in sharp contrast to the case of domain wall or spin helix. Simulation results are analysed using a theory based on Thiele's equation, and it is concluded that this behaviour is due to the Magnus force and flexible shape-deformation of individual skyrmions and skyrmion crystal, which enable them to avoid pinning centres.

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