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Stability and metastability of skyrmions in thin lamellae of Cu2OSeO3

Wilson, M.N.; Birch, M.T.; Štefančič, A.; Twitchett-Harrison, A.C.; Balakrishnan, G.; Hicken, T.J.; Fan, R.; Steadman, P.; Hatton, P.D.

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M.N. Wilson

M.T. Birch

A. Štefančič

A.C. Twitchett-Harrison

G. Balakrishnan

R. Fan

P. Steadman


We report small-angle x-ray scattering measurements of the skyrmion lattice in two 200-nm-thick Cu2OSeO3 lamellae aligned with the applied magnetic field parallel to the out of plane [110] or [100] crystallographic directions. Our measurements show that the equilibrium skyrmion phase in both samples is expanded significantly compared to bulk crystals, existing between approximately 30 and 50 K over a wide region of magnetic field. This skyrmion state is elliptically distorted at low fields for the [110] sample, and symmetric for the [100] sample, possibly due to crystalline anisotropy becoming more important at this sample thickness than it is in bulk samples. Furthermore, we find that a metastable skyrmion state can be observed at low temperature by field cooling through the equilibrium skyrmion pocket in both samples. In contrast to the behavior in bulk samples, the volume fraction of metastable skyrmions does not significantly depend on cooling rate. We show that a possible explanation for this is the change in the lowest temperature of the skyrmion state in this lamellae compared to bulk, without requiring different energetics of the skyrmion state.


Wilson, M., Birch, M., Štefančič, A., Twitchett-Harrison, A., Balakrishnan, G., Hicken, T., …Hatton, P. (2020). Stability and metastability of skyrmions in thin lamellae of Cu2OSeO3. Physical Review Research, 2(1), Article 013096.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 29, 2020
Publication Date Jan 31, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 30, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 30, 2020
Journal Physical Review Research
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Article Number 013096


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Copyright Statement
Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.

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