Topological Spin Textures in Magnets
This event is part of the Physics Department Colloquia Series.
Skyrmions are topological solitons that were first discussed in quantum field theory in the 1960’s. In recent years, through a series of beautiful experimental developments, they have become of great relevance to a variety of condensed matter systems, especially chiral magnetic materials.
I will begin with a pedagogical introduction to skyrmions and explain how these topological spin textures arise in magnetic materials with broken inversion symmetry and spin-orbit coupling. I will next describe a variety of experiments that probe magnetic skyrmions, emphasizing their unusual properties and potential for applications. I will conclude with some of our recent theoretical predictions on how the stability of skyrmion phases can be greatly enhanced in magnetic materials.