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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Apr 19;110(16):167201. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

Creating an artificial two-dimensional Skyrmion crystal by nanopatterning.

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National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures and Department of Physics, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing 210093, People's Republic of China.


A Skyrmion crystal typically arises from helical spin structures induced by the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. Experimentally its physical exploration has been impeded because it is a rarity and is found only within a narrow temperature and magnetic field range. We present a method for the assembly of a two-dimensional Skyrmion crystal based upon a combination of a perpendicularly magnetized film and nanopatterned arrays of magnetic vortices that are geometrically confined within nanodisks. The practical feasibility of the method is validated by micromagnetic simulations and computed Skyrmion number per unit cell. We also quantify a wide range in temperature and field strength over which the Skyrmion crystal can be stabilized without the need for any intrinsic Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions, which otherwise is needed to underpin the arrangement as is the case in the very few known Skyrmion crystal cases. Thus, our suggested scheme involves a qualitative breakthrough that comes with a substantial quantitative advance.

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