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      Direct observation of the skyrmion Hall effect

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          Abstract

          Experiments show that when driven by electric currents, magnetic skyrmions experience transverse motion due to their topological charge—similar to the conventional Hall effect experienced by charged particles in a perpendicular magnetic field.

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          Real-space observation of a two-dimensional skyrmion crystal.

          Crystal order is not restricted to the periodic atomic array, but can also be found in electronic systems such as the Wigner crystal or in the form of orbital order, stripe order and magnetic order. In the case of magnetic order, spins align parallel to each other in ferromagnets and antiparallel in antiferromagnets. In other, less conventional, cases, spins can sometimes form highly nontrivial structures called spin textures. Among them is the unusual, topologically stable skyrmion spin texture, in which the spins point in all the directions wrapping a sphere. The skyrmion configuration in a magnetic solid is anticipated to produce unconventional spin-electronic phenomena such as the topological Hall effect. The crystallization of skyrmions as driven by thermal fluctuations has recently been confirmed in a narrow region of the temperature/magnetic field (T-B) phase diagram in neutron scattering studies of the three-dimensional helical magnets MnSi (ref. 17) and Fe(1-x)Co(x)Si (ref. 22). Here we report real-space imaging of a two-dimensional skyrmion lattice in a thin film of Fe(0.5)Co(0.5)Si using Lorentz transmission electron microscopy. With a magnetic field of 50-70 mT applied normal to the film, we observe skyrmions in the form of a hexagonal arrangement of swirling spin textures, with a lattice spacing of 90 nm. The related T-B phase diagram is found to be in good agreement with Monte Carlo simulations. In this two-dimensional case, the skyrmion crystal seems very stable and appears over a wide range of the phase diagram, including near zero temperature. Such a controlled nanometre-scale spin topology in a thin film may be useful in observing unconventional magneto-transport effects.
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            Skyrmions on the track.

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              Is Open Access

              Spin torque switching with the giant spin Hall effect of tantalum

              We report a giant spin Hall effect (SHE) in {\beta}-Ta that generates spin currents intense enough to induce efficient spin-transfer-torque switching of ferromagnets, thereby providing a new approach for controlling magnetic devices that can be superior to existing technologies. We quantify this SHE by three independent methods and demonstrate spin-torque (ST) switching of both out-of-plane and in-plane magnetized layers. We implement a three-terminal device that utilizes current passing through a low impedance Ta-ferromagnet bilayer to effect switching of a nanomagnet, with a higher-impedance magnetic tunnel junction for read-out. The efficiency and reliability of this device, together with its simplicity of fabrication, suggest that this three-terminal SHE-ST design can eliminate the main obstacles currently impeding the development of magnetic memory and non-volatile spin logic technologies.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Physics
                Nat Phys
                Springer Nature
                1745-2473
                1745-2481
                September 19 2016
                September 19 2016
                :
                :
                Article
                10.1038/nphys3883
                5d4958bb-2258-45d9-9d99-b9ea71b4596f
                © 2016
                History

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