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!