By systematic real-space observations using Lorentz transmission electron microscopy, we report here various forms of skyrmions (and related spin textures) for a prototype of cubic helimagnet MnSi as well as their stability that depends on crystalline-orientation and crystal-plate thickness. Below a crossover thickness (tc ∼ 75 nm) of a sample, the robust two-dimensional hexagonal skyrmion crystal (SkX) appears over a wide window of temperature and magnetic field, regardless of crystal orientation, while the SkX phase region shrinks to a small pocket near the helical transition temperature TN in a (111) plate with the thickness above tc, in contrast to the stable SkX in (110) and (001) plates. This observation indicates the importance of the magnetic anisotropy and thermal fluctuation effects for the skyrmion stability. Furthermore, the forms of skyrmions have been found to change from multidomain state of SkX to skyrmion glass structure via single domain state of SkX with increasing magnetic field.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2015 Feb 17|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics