7,000th paper for Diamond

19 Jun 2018

A paper in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA) by an international scientific collaboration from the UK, Germany and Switzerland is the 7,000th to be published as a result of innovative research conducted at Diamond Light Source.

The paper reveals details of the 3D spin structure of magnetic skyrmions, and will be of key importance for storing digital information in the development of next-generation devices based on spintronics.

Laurent Chapon, Diamond’s Physical Sciences Director, explains the significance of these new findings: ‘A skyrmion is similar to a nanoscale magnetic vortex, made from twisted magnetic spins, but with a non-trivial topology that is ‘protecting them’. They are therefore stable, able to move, deform and interact with their environment without breaking up, which makes them very promising candidates for digital information storage in next-generation devices. For years, scientists have been trying to understand the underlying physical mechanisms that stabilise magnetic skyrmions, usually treating them as 2D objects. However, with its unique facilities and ultra-bright light, Diamond has provided researchers with the tools to study skyrmions in 3D, revealing significant new data.’