Zhang, Shilei, van der Laan, Gerrit ORCID: 0000-0001-6852-2495, Mueller, Jan, Heinen, Lukas ORCID: 0000-0001-6638-7031, Garst, Markus ORCID: 0000-0001-5390-3316, Bauer, Andreas, Berger, Helmuth, Pfleiderer, Christian ORCID: 0000-0001-7749-7965 and Hesjedal, Thorsten ORCID: 0000-0001-7947-3692 (2018). Reciprocal space tomography of 3D skyrmion lattice order in a chiral magnet. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 115 (25). S. 6386 - 6392. WASHINGTON: NATL ACAD SCIENCES. ISSN 0027-8424

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It is commonly assumed that surfaces modify the properties of stable materials within the top few atomic layers of a bulk specimen only. Exploiting the polarization dependence of resonant elastic X-ray scattering to go beyond conventional diffraction and imaging techniques, we have determined the depth dependence of the full 3D spin structure of skyrmions-that is, topologically nontrivial whirls of the magnetization-below the surface of a bulk sample of Cu2OSeO3. We found that the skyrmions change exponentially from pure Neel-to pure Bloch-twisting over a distance of several hundred nanometers between the surface and the bulk, respectively. Though qualitatively consistent with theory, the strength of the Neel-twisting at the surface and the length scale of the variation observed experimentally exceed material-specific modeling substantially. In view of the exceptionally complete quantitative theoretical account of the magnetic rigidities and associated static and dynamic properties of skyrmions in Cu2OSeO3 and related materials, we conclude that subtle changes of the materials properties must exist at distances up to several hundred atomic layers into the bulk, which originate in the presence of the surface. This has far-reaching implications for the creation of skyrmions in surface-dominated systems and identifies, more generally, surface-induced gradual variations deep within a bulk material and their impact on tailored functionalities as an unchartered scientific territory.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
van der Laan, GerritUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-6852-2495UNSPECIFIED
Heinen, LukasUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-6638-7031UNSPECIFIED
Garst, MarkusUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-5390-3316UNSPECIFIED
Pfleiderer, ChristianUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-7749-7965UNSPECIFIED
Hesjedal, ThorstenUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-7947-3692UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-182742
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1803367115
Journal or Publication Title: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.
Volume: 115
Number: 25
Page Range: S. 6386 - 6392
Date: 2018
Place of Publication: WASHINGTON
ISSN: 0027-8424
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
DYNAMICSMultiple languages
Multidisciplinary SciencesMultiple languages
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/18274


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