Voltage control of skyrmions: Creation, annihilation, and zero-magnetic field stabilization

Yifan Zhou, Rhodri Mansell*, Sebastiaan van Dijken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Voltage manipulation of skyrmions is a promising path toward low-energy spintronic devices. Here, voltage effects on skyrmions in a GdOx/Gd/Co/Pt heterostructure are observed experimentally. The results show that the skyrmion density can be both enhanced and depleted by the application of an electric field, along with the ability, at certain magnetic fields to completely switch the skyrmion state on and off. Further, a zero magnetic field skyrmion state can be stabilized at a negative bias voltage using a defined voltage and magnetic field sequence. The voltage effects measured here occur on a few-second timescale, suggesting an origin in voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy rather than ionic effects. By investigating the skyrmion nucleation rate as a function of temperature, we extract the energy barrier to skyrmion nucleation in our sample. Further, micromagnetic simulations are used to explore the effect of changing the anisotropy and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction on skyrmion density. Our work demonstrates the control of skyrmions by voltages, showing functionalities desirable for commercial devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number172409
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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