Collective skyrmion motion under the influence of an additional interfacial spin-transfer torque

MacKinnon, Callum R. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5584-2545, Zeissler, Katharina, Finizio, Simone, Raabe, Jörg, Marrows, Christopher H., Mercer, Tim orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1557-2138, Bissell, Philip orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8024-1757 and Lepadatu, Serban orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6221-9727 (2022) Collective skyrmion motion under the influence of an additional interfacial spin-transfer torque. Scientific Reports, 12 (1). p. 10786. ISSN 2045-2322

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Here we study the effect of an additional interfacial spin-transfer torque, as well as the well-established spin–orbit torque and bulk spin-transfer torque, on skyrmion collections—group of skyrmions dense enough that they are not isolated from one another—in ultrathin heavy metal/ferromagnetic multilayers, by comparing modelling with experimental results. Using a skyrmion collection with a range of skyrmion diameters and landscape disorder, we study the dependence of the skyrmion Hall angle on diameter and velocity, as well as the velocity as a function of diameter. We show that inclusion of the interfacial spin-transfer torque results in reduced skyrmion Hall angles, with values close to experimental results. We also show that for skyrmion collections the velocity is approximately independent of diameter, in marked contrast to the motion of isolated skyrmions, as the group of skyrmions move together at an average group velocity. Moreover, the calculated skyrmion velocities are comparable to those obtained in experiments when the interfacial spin-transfer torque is included. Our results thus show the significance of the interfacial spin-transfer torque in ultrathin magnetic multilayers, which helps to explain the low skyrmion Hall angles and velocities observed in experiment. We conclude that the interfacial spin-transfer torque should be considered in numerical modelling for reproduction of experimental results.

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