Direct observation of unconventional topological Spin structure in coupled magnetic discs

C. Phatak*, A. K. Petford-Long, O. Heinonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Confined magnetic thin films are known to exhibit a variety of fascinating topological spin states such as Skyrmions, vortices, and antivortices. Such topological excitations are fundamentally important to our understanding of quantum critical phenomenon and related phase transitions. Here we report on the direct observation of an unconventional topological spin state and its behavior in antiferromagnetically coupled NiFe discs at room temperature. The observed spin structure is similar to the theoretically predicted merons which have not yet been observed directly. We have used in situ Lorentz microscopy magnetizing experiments combined with micromagnetic simulations to follow the stability and the behavior of the meron state. The work presented in this paper will open new opportunities for direct experimental investigation of various topological states that can provide insights into the fundamental physics of their interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number067205
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 9 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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