Skyrmionic states in confined nanostructures
Every day, we are producing large amounts of data in the form of multimedia, databases, research data, and many other types that we want to process and eventually store. Irrespective of what we want to do with our data, we always need some type of a memory device. An ever increasing need for data storage creates great challenges for the development of high-capacity storage devices that are cheap, fast, reliable, and robust. Nowadays, hard disk drive technology uses magnetic grains pointing up or down to encode binary data (0 or 1) in so-called perpendicular recording media. Practical limitations are well understood and dubbed the “magnetic recording trilemma”. It defines a trade-off between three conflicting requirements for any memory device (signal-to-noise ratio, thermal stability of the stored data, and the ability to imprint information). Because of these fundamental constraints, further progress requires radically different approaches.
Magnetic skyrmions are topologically protected particle-like whirls in the magnetisation field that can emerge in a special class of magnetic materials - helimagnets. They have the potential to provide solutions for low-power, high-capacity data storage and processing because of their very unique properties. The main goal of this project is to explore static and dynamic properties of skyrmionic states in confined helimagnetic nanostructures. Findings in this project might contribute to the development of future skyrmion-based data storage devices.
This work is financially supported by the EPSRC’s Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) grant EP/G03690X/1. We also acknowledge the use of the IRIDIS High Performance Computing Facility, and associated support services at the University of Southampton.
 Beg, M., Carey, R., Wang, W., Cortés-Ortuño, D., Vousden, M., Bisotti, M.-A., Albert, M., Chernyshenko, D., Hovorka, O., Stamps, R. L., and Fangohr, H. Ground state search, hysteretic behaviour, and reversal mechanism of skyrmionic textures in confined helimagnetic nanostructures. Scientific Reports 5 17137 (2015).
 Beg, M., Albert, M., Bisotti, M.-A., Cortés-Ortuño, D., Wang, W., Carey, R., Vousden, M., Hovorka, O., Ciccarelli, C., Spencer, C. S., Marrows, C. H., and Fangohr, H. Dynamics of skyrmionic states in confined helimagnetic nanostructures. Physical Review B 95 14433 (2017).
 Beg, M. Skyrmionic states in confined helimagnetic nanostructures (Doctoral thesis). University of Southampton (2016).