Directing magnetic skyrmion traffic flow with nanoscale patterning.
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.
Algorithms and computational methods: FFT
Simulation software: Nmag