Research Article

Ultrafast vector imaging of plasmonic skyrmion dynamics with deep subwavelength resolution

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Science  24 Apr 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6489, eaba6415
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba6415

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Watching plasmonic skyrmions

Skyrmions are stable topological textures that arise from solutions of the electromagnetic field. Because these “hedgehog”-like textures are robust, can be manipulated, and can interact, there is an interest in pursuing them for memory and logic applications. Skyrmions can also be generated in thin metal layers under optical excitation, but detailed information about the vectorial dynamics of these surface plasmon polariton skyrmions is so far lacking. Davis et al. used a time-resolved photoelectron vector microscope to image their spatiotemporal dynamics, piecing together movies as the skyrmions propagated across the surface of a perfect gold crystal. Access to dynamics with such high spatial and temporal resolution could help in controlling other nanophotonic systems.

Science, this issue p. eaba6415

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