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Intrinsic Mixed Bloch–Néel Character and Chirality of Skyrmions in Asymmetric Epitaxial Trilayers

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journal contribution
posted on 22.05.2020, 15:04 by Pablo Olleros-Rodríguez, Ruben Guerrero, Julio Camarero, Oksana Chubykalo-Fesenko, Paolo Perna
Recent advances in the stabilization and manipulation of chiral magnetization configurations in systems consisting of alternating atomic layers of ferromagnetic and nonmagnetic materials hold promise for innovation in spintronics technology. The low dimensionality of the systems promotes spin orbit driven interfacial effects like antisymmetric Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interactions (DMI) and surface magnetic anisotropy, whose relative strengths may be tuned to achieve stable nanometer sized magnetic objects with fixed chirality. While in most of the cases this is obtained by engineering complex multilayers stacks in which interlayer dipolar fields become important, we consider here a simple epitaxial trilayer in which a ferromagnet, with variable thickness, is embedded between a heavy metal and graphene. The latter enhances the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy of the system, promotes a Rashba-type DMI, and can sustain very long spin diffusion lengths. We use a layer-resolved micromagnetic model to describe the magnetization textures and their chirality. Our results demonstrate that for Co thicknesses larger than 3.6 nm, a skyrmion having an intrinsic mixed Bloch–Néel character is stabilized in the entire (single) Co layer.