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Title: Engineering helimagnetism in MnSi thin films

Magnetic skyrmion materials have the great advantage of a robust topological magnetic structure, which makes them stable against the superparamagnetic effect and therefore a candidate for the next-generation of spintronic memory devices. Bulk MnSi, with an ordering temperature of 29.5 K, is a typical skyrmion system with a propagation vector periodicity of ∼18 nm. One crucial prerequisite for any kind of application, however, is the observation and precise control of skyrmions in thin films at room-temperature. Strain in epitaxial MnSi thin films is known to raise the transition temperature to 43 K. Here we show, using magnetometry and x-ray spectroscopy, that the transition temperature can be raised further through proximity coupling to a ferromagnetic layer. Similarly, the external field required to stabilize the helimagnetic phase is lowered. Transmission electron microscopy with element-sensitive detection is used to explore the structural origin of ferromagnetism in these Mn-doped substrates. Our work suggests that an artificial pinning layer, not limited to the MnSi/Si system, may enable room temperature, zero-field skyrmion thin-film systems, thereby opening the door to device applications.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [5]
  1. Department of Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3PU (United Kingdom)
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 6997801, Tel Aviv (Israel)
  3. (United Kingdom)
  4. ISIS, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)
  5. Magnetic Spectroscopy Group, Diamond Light Source, Didcot, OX11 0DE (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22492412
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Advances; Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2016 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; COUPLING; DOPED MATERIALS; EPITAXY; FERROMAGNETISM; LAYERS; MANGANESE SILICIDES; MEMORY DEVICES; SKYRME POTENTIAL; SOLITONS; STRAINS; SUBSTRATES; SUPERPARAMAGNETISM; THIN FILMS; TRANSITION TEMPERATURE; TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY