Controlling skyrmion helicity via engineered Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions

Sebastián A. Díaz, Roberto E. Troncoso

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16 Scopus citations


Single magnetic skyrmion dynamics in chiral magnets with a spatially inhomogeneous Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) is considered. Based on the relation between DMI coupling and skyrmion helicity, it is argued that the latter must be included as an extra degree of freedom in the dynamics of skyrmions. An effective description of the skyrmion dynamics for an arbitrary inhomogeneous DMI coupling is obtained through the collective coordinates method. The resulting generalized Thiele equation is a dynamical system for the center of mass position and helicity of the skyrmion. It is found that the dissipative tensor and hence the Hall angle become helicity dependent. The skyrmion position and helicity dynamics are fully characterized by our model in two particular examples of engineered DMI coupling: half-planes with opposite-sign DMI and linearly varying DMI. In light of the experiment of Shibata et al (2013 Nat. Nanotechnol. 8 723) on the magnitude and sign of the DMI, our results constitute the first step toward a more complete understanding of the skyrmion helicity as a new degree of freedom that could be harnessed in future high-density magnetic storage and logic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number426005
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Dyzloshinskii-Moriya interaction
  • helical dynamics
  • skyrmions


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