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Topological Spin Solitons for Information Technology (TOPFIT)
Start date: Mar 1, 2012, End date: Feb 28, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Present day limitations of information technology based on magnetic materials may be traced to the notion, that all magnetic materials known until recently exhibit conventional, i.e., topologically trivial, forms of magnetic order. Only two years ago the first example of an entirely new form of magnetic order has been discovered, which is composed of topologically stable spin solitons (so called skyrmions) caused by chiral spin interactions. These skyrmions display several exceptional properties, e.g., great stability against perturbations and spin torque effects at ultra-low current densities. Because the underlying chiral interactions exist, in principle, in a very wide range of different settings a comprehensive search for similar spin solitons in other bulk compounds, thin films and especially at interfaces promises major break-throughs for information technology. For instance, the spin transfer torques at ultra-low current densities open an unexpected, new route to high-speed data processing. Further, the topological stability of the solitons may be exploited in non-volatile high-density data storage devices. Finally, the topological Hall effect caused by spin solitons may be used to build a new class of field sensors.The objectives of this proposal are a systematic search for new forms of magnetic order composed of topologically protected (particle-like) spin solitons in bulk materials driven by chiral interactions. This will establish a new field of magnetic phenomena. We further propose the development of concepts how to exploit specifically the topological aspects of these spin solitons in information technology. The proposed research program comprises state-of-the art materials preparation, in-depth studies of the materials properties using bulk and microscopic probes and advanced theoretical modelling. While the proposed project represents a high-risk effort, it promises a fundamentally new approach to information technology"
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