Toward room-temperature nanoscale skyrmions in ultrathin films

Anastasiia S. Varentcova, Stephan von Malottki, Maria N. Potkina, Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Stefan Heinze, Pavel F. Bessarab

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Breaking the dilemma between small size and room-temperature stability is a necessary prerequisite for skyrmion-based information technology. Here we demonstrate by means of rate theory and an atomistic spin Hamiltonian that the stability of isolated skyrmions in ultrathin ferromagnetic films can be enhanced by the concerted variation of magnetic interactions while keeping the skyrmion size unchanged. We predict film systems where the lifetime of sub-10 nm skyrmions can reach years at ambient conditions. The long lifetime of such small skyrmions is due to exceptionally large Arrhenius pre-exponential factor and the stabilizing effect of the energy barrier is insignificant at room temperature. A dramatic increase in the pre-exponential factor is achieved thanks to the softening of magnon modes of the skyrmion, thereby increasing the entropy of the skyrmion with respect to the transition state for collapse. Increasing the number of skyrmion deformation modes should be a guiding principle for the realization of nanoscale, room-temperature stable skyrmions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number193
Number of pages11
Journalnpj Computational Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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