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Nat Commun. 2017 May 19;8:15302. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15302.

Out-of-plane chiral domain wall spin-structures in ultrathin in-plane magnets.

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NCEM, Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
Department of Physics, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Korea.
Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
Physics Department, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.
Department of Physics, State Key Laboratory of Surface Physics and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.


Chiral spin textures in ultrathin films, such as skyrmions or chiral domain walls, are believed to offer large performance advantages in the development of novel spintronics technologies. While in-plane magnetized films have been studied extensively as media for current- and field-driven domain wall dynamics with applications in memory or logic devices, the stabilization of chiral spin textures in in-plane magnetized films has remained rare. Here we report a phase of spin structures in an in-plane magnetized ultrathin film system where out-of-plane spin orientations within domain walls are stable. Moreover, while domain walls in in-plane films are generally expected to be non-chiral, we show that right-handed spin rotations are strongly favoured in this system, due to the presence of the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. These results constitute a platform to explore unconventional spin dynamics and topological phenomena that may enable high-performance in-plane spin-orbitronics devices.

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