Thermal Hysteresis and Ordering Behavior of Magnetic Skyrmion Lattices

Arthur R.C. McCray, Yue Li, Rabindra Basnet, Krishna Pandey, Jin Hu, Daniel P. Phelan, Xuedan Ma, Amanda K. Petford-Long, Charudatta Phatak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The physics of phase transitions in two-dimensional (2D) systems underpins research in diverse fields including statistical mechanics, nanomagnetism, and soft condensed matter. However, many aspects of 2D phase transitions are still not well understood, including the effects of interparticle potential, polydispersity, and particle shape. Magnetic skyrmions are chiral spin-structure quasi-particles that form two-dimensional lattices. Here, we show, by real-space imaging using in situ cryo-Lorentz transmission electron microscopy coupled with machine learning image analysis, the ordering behavior of Néel skyrmion lattices in van der Waals Fe3GeTe2. We demonstrate a distinct change in the skyrmion size distribution during field-cooling, which leads to a loss of lattice order and an evolution of the skyrmion liquid phase. Remarkably, the lattice order is restored during field heating and demonstrates a thermal hysteresis. This behavior is explained by the skyrmion energy landscape and demonstrates the potential to control the lattice order in 2D phase transitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7804-7810
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 12 2022


  • Lorentz transmission electron microscopy
  • lattice order
  • machine learning
  • skyrmion lattice
  • thermal hysteresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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