Relaxation Dynamics of Zero-Field Skyrmions over a Wide Temperature Range

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Peng, Licong
Zhang, Ying
Ke, Liqin
Kim, Tae-Hoon
Zheng, Qiang
Yan, Jiaqiang
Zhang, X.-G.
Gao, Yang
Wang, Shouguo
Cai, Jianwang
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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Materials Science and Engineering
Materials engineers create new materials and improve existing materials. Everything is limited by the materials that are used to produce it. Materials engineers understand the relationship between the properties of a material and its internal structure — from the macro level down to the atomic level. The better the materials, the better the end result — it’s as simple as that.
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Ames National LaboratoryPhysics and AstronomyMaterials Science and Engineering

The promise of magnetic skyrmions in future spintronic devices hinges on their topologically enhanced stability and the ability to be manipulated by external fields. The technological advantages of nonvolatile zero-field skyrmion lattice (SkL) are significant if their stability and reliability can be demonstrated over a broad temperature range. Here, we study the relaxation dynamics including the evolution and lifetime of zero-field skyrmions generated from field cooling (FC) in an FeGe single-crystal plate via in situ Lorentz transmission electron microscopy (L-TEM). Three types of dynamic switching between zero-field skyrmions and stripes are identified and distinguished. Moreover, the generation and annihilation of these metastable skyrmions can be tailored during and after FC by varying the magnetic fields and the temperature. This dynamic relaxation behavior under the external fields provides a new understanding of zero-field skyrmions for their stability and reliability in spintronic applications and also raises new questions for theoretical models of skyrmion systems.