Publication Date

3-23-2020

Department

Ames Laboratory; Materials Science and Engineering

Campus Units

Ames Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering

OSTI ID+

1608700

Report Number

IS-J 10191; IS-J 10177

DOI

10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c00080

Journal Title

Nano Letters

Abstract

Real-space topological magnetic structures such as skyrmions and merons are promising candidates for information storage and transport. However, the microscopic mechanisms that control their formation and evolution are still unclear. Here, using in situ Lorentz transmission electron microscopy, we demonstrate that skyrmion crystals (SkXs) can nucleate, grow, and evolve from the conical phase in the same ways that real nanocrystals form from vapors or solutions. More intriguingly, individual skyrmions can also “reproduce” by division in a mitosis-like process that allows them to annihilate SkX lattice imperfections, which is not available to crystals made of mass-conserving particles. Combined string method and micromagnetic calculations show that competition between repulsive and attractive interactions between skyrmions governs particle-like SkX growth, but nonconservative SkX growth appears to be defect mediated. Our results provide insights toward manipulating magnetic topological states by applying established crystal growth theory, adapted to account for the new process of skyrmion mitosis.

DOE Contract Number(s)

AC02-07CH11358; 11704067; 51790494

Language

en

Publisher

Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)

IS-J 10177 SI.pdf (4373 kB)
Supporting Information

Available for download on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

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