Chiral magnetic skyrmions 1,2 are nanoscale vortex-like spin textures that form in the presence of an applied magnetic field in ferromagnets that support the Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction (DMI) because of strong spin–orbit coupling and broken inversion symmetry of the crystal 3,4 . In sharp contrast to other systems 5,6 that allow for the formation of a variety of two-dimensional (2D) skyrmions, in chiral magnets the presence of the DMI commonly prevents the stability and coexistence of topological excitations of different types 7 . Recently, a new type of localized particle-like object—the chiral bobber (ChB)—was predicted theoretically in such materials 8 . However, its existence has not yet been verified experimentally. Here, we report the direct observation of ChBs in thin films of B20-type FeGe by means of quantitative off-axis electron holography (EH). We identify the part of the temperature–magnetic field phase diagram in which ChBs exist and distinguish two mechanisms for their nucleation. Furthermore, we show that ChBs are able to coexist with skyrmions over a wide range of parameters, which suggests their possible practical applications in novel magnetic solid-state memory devices, in which a stream of binary data bits can be encoded by a sequence of skyrmions and bobbers.
Nature Nanotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 9, 2018
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