Electron beam lithography of magnetic skyrmions

Yao Guang, Yong Peng, Zhengren Yan, Yizhou Liu, Junwei Zhang, Xue Zeng, Senfu Zhang, Shilei Zhang, David M. Burn, Nicolas Jaouen, Jinwu Wei, Hongjun Xu, Jiafeng Feng, Chi Fang, Gerrit van der Laan, Thorsten Hesjedal, Baoshan Cui, Xixiang Zhang, Guoqiang Yu, Xiufeng Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The emergence of magnetic skyrmions, topological spin textures, has aroused tremendous interest in studying the rich physics related to their topology. While skyrmions promise high-density and energy-efficient magnetic memory devices for information technology, the manifestation of their non-trivial topology through single skyrmions, ordered, and disordered skyrmion lattices could also give rise to many fascinating physical phenomena, such as the chiral magnon and skyrmion glass states. Therefore, generating skyrmions at designated locations on a large scale, while controlling the skyrmion patterns, is key to advancing topological magnetism. Here, we present a new, yet general, approach to the ‘printing’ of skyrmions with zero-field stability in arbitrary patterns on a massive scale in exchange-biased magnetic multilayers. By exploiting the fact that the antiferromagnetic order can be reconfigured by local thermal excitations, we use a focused electron beam with a graphic pattern generator to ‘print’ skyrmions, which we refer to as skyrmion lithography. Our work provides a route to design arbitrary skyrmion patterns, thereby establishing the foundation for further exploration of topological magnetism.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Materials
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2017-CRG6-3427
Acknowledgements: Y.G., Y.P, and Z.R.Y. have contributed equally to this work. Financial support from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grants No. 2017YFA0206200), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, Grants No. 11874409, 11804380, 51801087), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. Z190009), the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) [Grant No. XDB07030200], the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences (Grant No. QYZDJ-SSW-SLH016), the International Partnership Program (Grant No. 112111KYSB20170090) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), K. C. Wong Education Foundation (GJTD-2019-14), and Fujian Innovation Academy, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. FJCXY18040302). J.Z. and X.Z. acknowledge the financial support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under the Award No. OSR-2017-CRG6-3427. S.L.Z. acknowledges the starting grant from ShanghaiTech University and the Eastern Scholar Scheme. T.H. gratefully acknowledges support from EPSRC (EP/N032128/1). We acknowledge beamtime on beamline I10 at Diamond Light Source (Didcot, UK) under proposals SI20183 and MM21868, and on the SEXTANTS beamline at the SOLEIL synchrotron (Gif-sur-Yvette, France) under proposal 20181882. Guoqiang Yu acknowledges helpful discussions with Haifeng Du and Junjie Li.


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