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In a close collaboration between experimental and theoretical physicists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the research groups of Professor Mathias Kläui and Dr. Peter Virnau investigated the behavior of magnetic whirls within nanoscale geometric structures. In their work published in Advanced Functional Materials, the researchers confined small magnetic whirls, so-called skyrmions, in geometric structures. Skyrmions can be created in thin metal films and have particle-like properties: They exhibit high stability and are repelled from each other and from specially prepared walls. Experiments and accompanying computer simulations showed that the mobility of skyrmions within these geometric structures depends massively on their arrangement. In triangles, for example, three, six, or ten skyrmions arranged like bowling pins are particularly stable.

“These studies lay the foundation for the development of novel non-conventional computing and storage media based on the movement of magnetic vortices through microscopic corridors and chambers,” explained Professor Mathias Kläui. The research was funded by the Dynamics and Topology (TopDyn) Top-level Research Area, which was founded in 2019 as a collaboration between Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, TU Kaiserslautern, and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz. “This work is an excellent example for the interdisciplinary cooperation between simulation and experiment, which was only made possible by TopDyn’s funding,” emphasized Dr. Peter Virnau.


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Materials provided by Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chengkun Song, Nico Kerber, Jan Rothörl, Yuqing Ge, Klaus Raab, Boris Seng, Maarten A. Brems, Florian Dittrich, Robert M. Reeve, Jianbo Wang, Qingfang Liu, Peter Virnau, Mathias Kläui. Commensurability between Element Symmetry and the Number of Skyrmions Governing Skyrmion Diffusion in Confined Geometries. Advanced Functional Materials, 2021; 2010739 DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202010739

Cite This Page:


Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz. “Magnetic whirls in confined spaces: Mobility of skyrmions in geometric structures depends on their arrangement.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2021. .

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz. (2021, March 4). Magnetic whirls in confined spaces: Mobility of skyrmions in geometric structures depends on their arrangement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2021 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210304112421.htm

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz. “Magnetic whirls in confined spaces: Mobility of skyrmions in geometric structures depends on their arrangement.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210304112421.htm (accessed March 4, 2021).



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