Driven gyrotropic skyrmion motion through steps in magnetic anisotropy.


NanoSpin, Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University School of Science, P.O. Box 15100, FI-00076, Aalto, Finland. [Email]


The discovery of magnetic skyrmions in ultrathin heterostructures has led to great interest in possible applications in memory and logic devices. The non-trivial topology of magnetic skyrmions gives rise to a gyrotropic motion, where, under an applied energy gradient a skyrmion gains a component of motion perpendicular to the applied force. So far, device proposals have largely neglected this motion or treated it as a barrier to correct operation. Here, we show that skyrmions can be efficiently moved perpendicular to an energy step created by local changes in the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. We propose an experimentally-realizable skyrmion racetrack device which uses voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy to induce a step in magnetic anisotropy and drive a skyrmion unidirectionally using alternating voltage pulses.

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