In the Eye of a Magnetic Storm: Unveiling the Nanoscopic Structure of Magnetic Skyrmion Tubes

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On-axis view on the magnetic whirls of skyrmion tubes in a needle-shaped sample of FeGe. Copyright: Daniel Wolf, Sebastian Schneider, Axel Lubk, Bernd Rellinghaus.
On-axis view on the magnetic whirls of skyrmion tubes in a needle-shaped sample of FeGe.

In close collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW Dresden), the Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons at the Research Center Jülich (ER-C), and the Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids (MPI-CPS), researchers from the Dresden Center for Nanoanalysis (DCN) at the TU Dresden have conducted ground-breaking measurements that allowed to characterize the three-dimensional spin texture of skyrmion tubes with unrivalled resolution.

Magnetic skyrmions are topologically protected 2D spin structures that bear a large application potential for next generation high density 3D data storage technologies. In “real” volume structures, these nanoscopic magnetic whirls grow out to 3D skyrmion tubes that extend throughout the thickness of their magnetic host material. Using a transmission electron microscopy based holographic approach, the authors were able to reconstruct the complex arrangement of the magnetic moments at the very heart of such skyrmion tubes in FeGe in great detail. The observed magnetic structures were found to deviate substantially from simple continuations of their 2D pendants and highlight both the mutual interaction of skyrmion tubes and their interplay with magnetic surface states. The quantitative 3D magnetic induction data even allowed for the first time to experimentally prove the underlying stabilization principles of these topologically exceptional magnetic nano-objects.

The work was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology (Dec 20, 2021):

Daniel Wolf, Sebastian Schneider, Ulrich K. Rößler, András Kovács, Marcus Schmidt, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski, Bernd Büchner, Bernd Rellinghaus, and Axel Lubk, „Unveiling the three-dimensional magnetic texture of Skyrmion tubes”, Nature Nanotechnology (2021).


Dr. Daniel Wolf

Dr. Bernd Rellinghaus

Advanced Methods of Electron Microscopy (AMEM)
IFW Dresden
Helmholtzstr. 20
01069 Dresden

Dresden Center for Nanoanalysis (DCN)
Technische Universität Dresden
Helmholtzstr. 18
01069 Dresden

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