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Skyrmion lattice with a giant topological Hall effect in a frustrated triangular-lattice magnet

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Science  30 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6456, pp. 914-918
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau0968

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Skyrmions in a frustrated magnet

Skyrmions—tiny, topologically protected whirlpools of spin—have been investigated as potential information carriers in spintronic devices. Usually, skyrmions appear in noncentrosymmetric materials or at interfaces between materials. In contrast to this rule of thumb, Kurumaji et al. observed a skyrmion lattice phase in the centrosymmetric material Gd2PdSi3. The magnetic frustration present in this material helped stabilize the skyrmion phase, which was detected through transport measurements in magnetic field.

Science, this issue p. 914

Abstract

Geometrically frustrated magnets can host complex spin textures, leading to unconventional electromagnetic responses. Magnetic frustration may also promote topologically nontrivial spin states such as magnetic skyrmions. Experimentally, however, skyrmions have largely been observed in noncentrosymmetric lattice structures or interfacial symmetry-breaking heterostructures. Here, we report the emergence of a Bloch-type skyrmion state in the frustrated centrosymmetric triangular-lattice magnet Gd2PdSi3. We observed a giant topological Hall response, indicating a field-induced skyrmion phase, which is further corroborated by the observation of in-plane spin modulation probed by resonant x-ray scattering. Our results may lead to further discoveries of emergent electrodynamics in magnetically frustrated centrosymmetric materials.

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