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Skyrmion Lattice in a Chiral Magnet

Science  13 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5916, pp. 915-919
DOI: 10.1126/science.1166767

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Abstract

Skyrmions represent topologically stable field configurations with particle-like properties. We used neutron scattering to observe the spontaneous formation of a two-dimensional lattice of skyrmion lines, a type of magnetic vortex, in the chiral itinerant-electron magnet MnSi. The skyrmion lattice stabilizes at the border between paramagnetism and long-range helimagnetic order perpendicular to a small applied magnetic field regardless of the direction of the magnetic field relative to the atomic lattice. Our study experimentally establishes magnetic materials lacking inversion symmetry as an arena for new forms of crystalline order composed of topologically stable spin states.

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