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Creation and observation of Hopfions in magnetic multilayer systems

Kent, Noah; Reynolds, Neal; Raftrey, David; Campbell, Ian T.G.; Virasawmy, Selven; Dhuey, Scott; Chopdekar, Rajesh V.; Hierro-Rodriguez, Aurelio; Sorrentino, Andrea; Pereiro, Eva; Ferrer, Salvador; Hellman, Frances; Sutcliffe, Paul; Fischer, Peter

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Noah Kent

Neal Reynolds

David Raftrey

Ian T.G. Campbell

Selven Virasawmy

Scott Dhuey

Rajesh V. Chopdekar

Aurelio Hierro-Rodriguez

Andrea Sorrentino

Eva Pereiro

Salvador Ferrer

Frances Hellman

Peter Fischer


Among topological solitons, magnetic skyrmions are two-dimensional particle-like objects with a continuous winding of the magnetization, and magnetic Hopfions are three-dimensional objects that can be formed from a closed loop of twisted skyrmion strings. Theoretical models suggest that magnetic Hopfions can be stabilized in frustrated or chiral magnetic systems, and target skymions can be transformed into Hopfions by adapting their perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, but their experimental verification has been elusive so far. Here, we present an experimental study of magnetic Hopfions that are created in Ir/Co/Pt multilayers shaped into nanoscale disks, known to host target skyrmions. To characterize three-dimensional spin textures that distinguish Hopfions from target skyrmions magnetic images are recorded with surface-sensitive X-ray photoemission electron microscopy and bulk-sensitive soft X-ray transmission microscopy using element-specific X-ray magnetic circular dichroism effects as magnetic contrast. These results could stimulate further investigations of Hopfions and their potential application in three-dimensional spintronics devices.


Kent, N., Reynolds, N., Raftrey, D., Campbell, I. T., Virasawmy, S., Dhuey, S., …Fischer, P. (2021). Creation and observation of Hopfions in magnetic multilayer systems. Nature Communications, 12(1), Article 1562.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 8, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 10, 2021
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Mar 19, 2021
Publicly Available Date Mar 24, 2021
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Article Number 1562


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