Strain tuning of topological magnetic textures

When magnets are brought to the third dimension, they provide a rich playground for fundamental physics [1]. The higher degrees of freedom available in 3D – and the new topologies and geometries that it makes possible – combine to produce many new effects, including exotic dynamic behaviours, and topological textures that occur on length scales of the order of nanometres [2,3].

Key to the formation and behaviour of these topological textures is their local energy landscape, that we can define by the material and geometry of our nanostructured system [4]. This energy landscape not only defines the type of texture that can form, but also how these textures can be controlled, and propagated through a device – an important concept for future technologies.  

However, while such control of the energy landscape allows for one to define certain functionalities, it remains challenging to tune these properties to achieve a reconfigurable energy landscape for three-dimensional topological textures. One very promising route to reconfigurable properties is offered by strain-tuning of materials, which we can control with unprecedent levels of precision using novel types of strain devices, which were pioneered at the MPI CPfS.

In this project we will explore the local tuning of the energy landscape of topological textures through the application of strain to three-dimensional magnetic nanostructures. In this way, we will realise reconfigurable tuning of the properties of a 3D magnetic nanostructure, opening the door to not only reconfigurable devices, but also establishing new possibilities for nanoscale magnetomechanical metamaterials.

This is an experimental project, that involves not only the development of mechanically elastic magnetic nanostructures, but the in-situ measurements of the magnetic properties of topological magnetic textures within the system. The project will involve advanced 3D nanofabrication [5] and the development of new experimental methods, and will lead to key advances in our understanding and control of three-dimensional spin systems.

[1] A. Fernández-Pacheco, R. Streubel, O. Fruchart, R. Hertel, P. Fischer & R.P. Cowburn
Three-dimensional nanomagnetism
Nature Communications 8, 15756 (2017) 
[2] C. Donnelly, M. Guizar-Sicairos, V. Scagnoli, S. Gliga, M. Holler, J. Raabe and L. J. Heyderman
Three dimensional magnetisation structures revealed with X-ray vector nanotomography
Nature 547, 328 (2017)
[3] C. Donnelly, K. L. Metlov, V. Scagnoli, M. Guizar-Sicairos, M. Holler, N. S. Bingham, J. Raabe, L. J. Heyderman, N. R. Cooper, S. Gliga
Experimental observation of vortex rings in a bulk magnet
Nature Physics 17, 316 (2021)
[4] C. Donnelly, A. Hierro Rodriguez, C. Abert, S. Finizio, K. Witte, L. Skoric, J. Raabe, A. Fernandez-Pacheco
Complex free-space magnetic field textures induced by 3D magnetic nanostructures
Nature Nanotechnology 17, 136 (2022)
[5] L. Skoric, D. Sanz-Hernández, F. Meng, C. Donnelly, S. Merino-Aceituno, A. Fernández-Pacheco
Layer-by-Layer Growth of Complex-Shaped Three-Dimensional Nanostructures with Focused Electron Beams
Nano Letters 20, 184 (2020)

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