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Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 23;6:6598. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7598.

Unlocking Bloch-type chirality in ultrathin magnets through uniaxial strain.

Author information

1
NCEM, Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
2
Department of Physics, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea.
3
Department of Physics, State Key Laboratory of Surface Physics and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, People's Republic of China.
4
Department of Physics, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

Chiral magnetic domain walls are of great interest because lifting the energetic degeneracy of left- and right-handed spin textures in magnetic domain walls enables fast current-driven domain wall propagation. Although two types of magnetic domain walls are known to exist in magnetic thin films, Bloch- and Néel-walls, up to now the stabilization of homochirality was restricted to Néel-type domain walls. Since the driving mechanism of thin-film magnetic chirality, the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, is thought to vanish in Bloch-type walls, homochiral Bloch walls have remained elusive. Here we use real-space imaging of the spin texture in iron/nickel bilayers on tungsten to show that chiral domain walls of mixed Bloch-type and Néel-type can indeed be stabilized by adding uniaxial strain in the presence of interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. Our findings introduce Bloch-type chirality as a new spin texture, which may open up new opportunities to design spin-orbitronics devices.

PMID:
25798953
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms7598

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