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Pinning and hysteresis in the field dependent diameter evolution of skyrmions in Pt/Co/Ir superlattice stacks.

ABSTRACT: We have imaged Néel skyrmion bubbles in perpendicularly magnetised polycrystalline multilayers patterned into 1?µm diameter dots, using scanning transmission x-ray microscopy. The skyrmion bubbles can be nucleated by the application of an external magnetic field and are stable at zero field with a diameter of 260?nm. Applying an out of plane field that opposes the magnetisation of the skyrmion bubble core moment applies pressure to the bubble and gradually compresses it to a diameter of approximately 100?nm. On removing the field the skyrmion bubble returns to its original diameter via a hysteretic pathway where most of the expansion occurs in a single abrupt step. This contradicts analytical models of homogeneous materials in which the skyrmion compression and expansion are reversible. Micromagnetic simulations incorporating disorder can explain this behaviour using an effective thickness modulation between 10?nm grains.

SUBMITTER: Zeissler K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5680206 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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