Computational Modelling Group

Directing magnetic skyrmion traffic flow with nanoscale patterning.

30th June 2013
Research Team
Mark Vousden
Hans Fangohr, Ondrej Hovorka

A simulated magnetic skyrmion in a thin film. Vectors represent magnetic moment direction.

A skyrmion is a vortex-like soliton that exists in certain vector fields, as shown in the accompanying image for a magnetic sample, where cones represent local magnetisation direction. Micromagnetic skyrmions such as these have only recently been observed in experiments, leading to a novel research topic that could significanttly change the way we store and possibly process data. Of particular interest is the potential to control the movement of skyrmions through electric currents or other non-magnetic means.

Research challenges include the behaviour of Skyrmions in finite size systems and particular in nanowires. We currently carry out simulations using Southampton's Finmag finite element simulation tool which is the successor of the Nmag simulation package.


Physical Systems and Engineering simulation: Electromagnetism, Magnonics, Materials, Micromagnetics

Algorithms and computational methods: FFT

Simulation software: Nmag

Visualisation and data handling software: Mayavi, ParaView, VTK

Software Engineering Tools: Emacs, Git, Mercurial

Programming languages and libraries: C, IPython/Jupyter Notebook, Python

Computational platforms: ARCHER, Cloud computing, Iridis, Linux, Microsoft Azure, VirtualBox

Transdisciplinary tags: Complex Systems, Visualisation