Control of morphology and formation of highly geometrically confined magnetic skyrmions

The ability to controllably manipulate magnetic skyrmions, small magnetic whirls with particle-like properties, in nanostructured elements is a prerequisite for incorporating them into spintronic devices. Here, we use state-of-the-art electron holographic imaging to directly visualize the morphology and nucleation of magnetic skyrmions in a wedge-shaped FeGe nanostripe that has a width in the range of 45–150 nm. We find that geometrically-confined skyrmions are able to adopt a wide range of sizes and ellipticities in a nanostripe that are absent in both thin films and bulk materials and can be created from a helical magnetic state with a distorted edge twist in a simple and efficient manner. We perform a theoretical analysis based on a three-dimensional general model of isotropic chiral magnets to confirm our experimental results. The flexibility and ease of formation of geometrically confined magnetic skyrmions may help to optimize the design of skyrmion-based memory devices.


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