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New Group of Materials Exhibiting Skirmion by High-Precision Materials Computation Platform

Quemix has developed a new calculation method for magnets and magnetic materials as part of its high-precision materials calculation platform, and has discovered a new group of magnetic materials that exhibit vortex-like magnetic structures called "skyrmions" and published a paper on the subject.

"Skyrmions in van der Waals centrosymmetric materials with Dzyaloshinski-Moriya interactions " Hung Ba Tran and Yu-ichiro Matsushita, arXiv:2209.02333 (2022).

 Skyrmions behave like particles, and their application to magnetic recording devices is expected to enable "super" power-saving information processing, which has been the subject of intense research in recent years. Although they have already been discovered experimentally in some magnetic materials, we have now proposed for the first time from theoretical calculations that skyrmions can appear in stacked two-dimensional materials consisting of ordinary elements.

It is known that the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction is an important factor in the appearance of a skyrmion, but it has been believed that the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction requires the breaking of the spatial inversion symmetry of the crystal structure to work. On the other hand, the stacked two-dimensional materials we have discovered in this study show the appearance of skyrmions despite the existence of spatial inversion symmetry, and a detailed analysis has revealed the existence of local space-inversion symmetry breaking, which is responsible for the appearance of skyrmions. The existence of a controllable degree of freedom, called helicity, in the winding of magnetic spirals, called right-handed or left-handed, in the skyrmions in crystals with spatial inversion symmetry could be used to create a skyrmion quantum bit by mapping it to digital 0s and 1s. The stacked two-dimensional materials we have discovered are very useful materials for pursuing this possibility.

 Stacked 2D structures are easy to fabricate and have a high degree of structural freedom. The stacked two-dimensional material group discovered this time shows that skyrmions can appear both in a single phase and in stacked three-dimensional crystals, and is expected to have a wide range of applications, including applications in next-generation magnetic memory and quantum devices such as skyrmion qubits.

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