Skyrmions in magnetic multilayers

Wanjun Jiang, Gong Chen, Kai Liu, Jiadong Zang, Suzanne G.E. te Velthuis, Axel Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Symmetry breaking together with strong spin–orbit interaction gives rise to many exciting phenomena within condensed matter physics. A recent example is the existence of chiral spin textures, which are observed in magnetic systems lacking inversion symmetry. These chiral spin textures, including domain walls and magnetic skyrmions, are both fundamentally interesting and technologically promising. For example, they can be driven very efficiently by electrical currents, and exhibit many new physical properties determined by their real-space topological characteristics. Depending on the details of the competing interactions, these spin textures exist in different parameter spaces. However, the governing mechanism underlying their physical behaviors remains essentially the same. In this review article, the fundamental topological physics underlying these chiral spin textures, the key factors for materials optimization, and current developments and future challenges will be discussed. In the end, a few promising directions that will advance the development of skyrmion based spintronics will be highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-49
Number of pages49
JournalPhysics Reports
StatePublished - Aug 23 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Chiral spin textures
  • Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction
  • Inversion symmetry breaking
  • Magnetic heterostructures
  • Magnetic skyrmion
  • Nanomagnetism
  • Race-track memory
  • Spin Hall effects
  • Spin sensitive imaging
  • Spin–orbit torques
  • Topological transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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