The recent discovery of nanometer-size whirling magnetic structures named magnetic skyrmions has opened a new path to manipulate magnetization at the nanoscale. Magnetic skyrmions are characterized by a chiral and topologically non-trivial spin structure, i.e their magnetization texture cannot be continuously transformed into the uniform magnetic state without causing a singularity. Skyrmions can also be manipulated by in-plane current, which has led to novel concepts of non-volatile magnetic memories and logic devices where skyrmions in nanotracks are the information carriers. However, these applications still remained distant as skyrmions had been observed only at low temperature or in the presence of large magnetic fields and in exotic materials far from any applications. Recently, Spintec has broken a major barrier by demonstrating skyrmions stable at room temperature and in the absence of external magnetic field. The objective of the ANR project will be to push forward fundamental knowledge in view of technological applications for memory and logics. The aims will be to develop novel and unexplored material systems to achieve nm scale skyrmions stable at room temperature and allow their fast and reliable current induced skyrmion manipulation, and to explore and control the skyrmion interactions in view of logic operations.
Contact: Olivier Boulle