Topological Magnetic Skyrmions and Their Applications

CMOS technologies, which have made significant progress in reading, writing, and storing data since the invention of the transistor, face challenges in scalability, energy consumption, and latency. The von Neumann computing architecture, which is used in most modern computers, creates a bottleneck due to the physical separation between processing and memory units, leading to reduced processing power and execution speed. This has led to a significant push for post-von Neumann computing architectures as alternatives to CMOS-based technologies.

Recent research in condensed matter physics has led to the development of a new class of devices called spintronics, which use both the charge and spin of an electron, providing additional degrees of freedom for manipulating the magnetic moment associated with the spin. Spintronic devices, characterized by high scalability, low power consumption, and high retention time, utilize the magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) for MRAM and magnetic field sensor applications. Magnetic skyrmions, which are topologically protected entities with high stability, can be manipulated by small external fields and currents, making them effective agents in beyond-CMOS data storage, true random number generation, logic, stochastic computing, and neuromorphic computing applications.

Skyrmions offer a promising avenue for developing innovative and efficient computing and data storage technologies, and our research is focused on investigating their fundamental physics and applications in skyrmion-based electronic computational architectures.

We thank the National Science Foundation for its support of our research.

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Recent publications from our group:

  • Kang Wang, Yiou Zhang, Vineetha Bheemarasetty, See-chen Ying, and Gang Xiao “Electronic noise of a single skyrmion”, Phys. Rev. B 108, 094431 (2023)
  • Kang Wang, Vineetha Bheemarasetty, Gang Xiao “Spin textures in synthetic antiferromagnets: Challenges, opportunities, and future directions”, APL Mater 11, 070902 (2023)
  • Kang Wang, Vineetha Bheemarasetty, Junhang Duan, Shiyu Zhou, Gang Xiao “Fundamental Physics and Applications of Magnetic Skyrmions: A Review”, Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (2022), 563, 169905 (2022)
  • Kang Wang, Yiou Zhang, Vineetha Bheemarasetty, Shiyu Zhou, See-Chen Ying, and Gang Xiao “Single skyrmion true random number generator using local dynamics and interaction between skyrmions”, Nature Communications 13, 722 (2022)
  • Kang Wang, Lijuan Qian, See-chen Ying and Gang Xiao “Spin-orbit torque switching of chiral magnetization across a synthetic antiferromagnet”, Communications Physics 4, 10 (2021)
  • Kang Wang, Lijuan Qian, See-Chen Ying and Gang Xiao “Manipulations of the interlayer exchange coupling in perpendicular magnetized thin films via tunable magnetic layer and spacer thicknesses”, Phys. Rev. B. 102, 144430 (2020)
  • Senfu Zhang, Xichao Zhang, Junwei Zhang, Arnab Ganguly, Jing Xia, Yan Wen, Qiang Zhang, Guoqiang Yu, Zhipeng Hou, Wenhong Wang, Yong Peng, Gang Xiao, Aurelien Manchon, Jürgen Kosel, Yan Zhou, and Xixiang Zhang “Direct imaging of an inhomogeneous electric current distribution using the trajectory of magnetic half-skyrmions”, Science Advances 6, eaay1876 (2020)
  • Kang Wang, Lijuan Qian, See-Chen Ying, Gang Xiao, Xiaoshan Wu “Controlled modification of skyrmions information in a three-terminal racetrack memory”, Nanoscale 11, 6952 (2019)