Local and Non-local Curvature-induced Chiral Effects in Nanomagnetism

Local and Non-local Curvature-induced Chiral Effects in Nanomagnetism

Volkov, O.

The structural inversion symmetry plays an important role in low-dimensional nanomagnets, due to its strong influence on magnetic and electrical properties. It can lead to the appearance of chiral effects, such as the topological Hall effect [1], or to the formation of chiral noncollinear magnetic textures, as skyrmions [2] and chiral domain walls (DWs) [3]. These chiral structures are envisioned to be the key components for realizing novel concepts for magnonics [4], antiferromagnetic spintronics [5], spin-orbitronics [6], and oxitronics [7]. The main magnetic interaction being responsible for the stabilization of chiral magnetic textures is the intrinsic Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) [8,9]. It originate in certain magnetic crystals in which the unit cell lacks inversion symmetry, such as the gyrotropic magnetic crystals, or appear typically in ultrathin films or bilayers due to the inversion symmetry breaking on the film interface [3]. At present, tailoring of DMI is done by optimizing materials, either doping a bulk single crystal or adjusting interface properties of thin films and multilayers.

A viable alternative to the conventional material screening approach can be the exploration of the interplay between geometry and topology. This interplay is of fundamental interest throughout many disciplines in condensed matter physics, including thin layers of superconductors [10] and superfluids [11], nematic liquid crystals [12], cell membranes [13], semiconductors [14]. In the emergent field of curvilinear magnetism chiral effects are associated to the geometrically broken inversion symmetries [15]. Those appear in curvilinear architectures of even conventional materials. There are numerous exciting theoretical predictions of exchange- and magnetostatically-driven curvature effects, which do not rely on any specific modification of the intrinsic magnetic properties, but allow to create non-collinear magnetic textures in a controlled manner by tailoring local curvatures and shapes [16,17]. Until now the predicted chiral effects due to curvatures remained a neat theoretical abstraction.

Recently, we provided the very first experimental confirmation of the existence of the curvature-induced chiral interaction with exchange origin in a conventional soft ferromagnetic material. It is experimentally explored the theoretical predictions, that the magnetisation reversal of flat parabolic stripes shows a two step process [18,19]. At the first switching event, a domain wall pinned by the curvature induced exchange-driven DMI is expelled leading to a magnetisation state homogeneous along the parabola's long axis. Measuring the depinning field enables to quantify the effective exchange-driven DMI interaction constant. The magnitude of the effect can be tuned by the parabola's curvature. It is found that the strength of the exchange-induced DMI interaction for the experimentally realised geometries is remarkably strong, namely ~0.4 mJ/m2, compared the surface induced DMI. The presented study legitimates the predictive power of full-scale micromagnetic simulations to design the properties of ferromagnets through their geometry, thus stabilising chiral textures. We explore these curvilinear magnetic thin films for the realization of novel artificial magnetoelectric materials based on curvilinear helimagnets embedded in piezoelectric matrix [20], to enable the geometrical tuning of the magnetochirality in curvilinear 1D architectures [21], tailoring of magnetic states in flat nanospirals [22] and as components of shapeable magnetoelectronics for interactive wearables [23].

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[17] V. P. Kravchuk, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 067201 (2018)
[18] O. Volkov et al., PRL 123, 077201 (2019).
[19] O. Volkov et al., PSS-RRL 13, 1800309 (2019).
[20] O. Volkov et al., J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 52, 345001 (2019).
[21] O. Volkov et al., Scientific Reports 8, 866 (2018).
[22] M. Nord, et al., Small 1904738 (2019).
[23] J. Ge, et al., Nature Comm. 10, 4405 (2019).

Keywords: Curvilinear magnetism; Micromagnetism; Chiral effects

  • Invited lecture (Conferences) (Online presentation)
    2022 Joint MMM-INTERMAG, 10.-14.01.2022, New Orleans, LA / Online, USA

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Publ.-Id: 34031