Ga+ irradiation and Chirality

Mark de Jong just published his first paper of his PhD in Physical Review B (congrats Mark!), it is the finishing touch of his Master thesis work and start of his PhD and nicely shows as the main result: “We postulate that Ga ion irradiation is an effective way to locally reduce the energy barrier for skyrmion nucleation, providing a novel pathway for targeted skyrmion nucleation in racetrack type devices.” And it delivers the proof for exactly that! A nice combination of nanoengineering in both the vertical as lateral dimensions using a focused ion beam.

This is an extensive body of work which required a lot of discussion on the basics of magnetism in complex multilayers stacks built from near atomically thin [Iridium/Cobalt/Platinum] building blocks. NanoMagnetism Galore! This brings us a step closer to Information Technology using chiral magnetic textures such as Skyrmions!

This is also a special paper for me as Mark and the team at FNA (special credits to jeroen francke) developed a custom MFM setup that includes large perpendicular magnetic fields during a measurement. Moreover, it will soon start to generate more results in the direction of current-driven Skyrmions: stay tuned!

Figure 3
Main results of the Manuscript, where we show the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction as a function of Ga dose (a), correlated against the magnetic anisotropy (b), and the Domain wall energy vs Dose showing the potential reduction of chiral domain wall (and Skyrmion) energy cost while preserving chirality.