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The quantum nature of skyrmions and half-skyrmions in Cu2OSeO3

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Janson,  Oleg
Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Tsirlin,  Alexander A.
Chemical Metal Science, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Rosner,  Helge
Helge Rosner, Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Janson, O., Rousochatzakis, I., Tsirlin, A. A., Belesi, M., Leonov, A. A., Rößler, U. K., et al. (2014). The quantum nature of skyrmions and half-skyrmions in Cu2OSeO3. Nature Communications, 5: 5376, pp. 1-11. doi:10.1038/ncomms6376.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-9C2B-A
Abstract
The Skyrme-particle, the skyrmion, was introduced over half a century ago in the context of dense nuclear matter. But with skyrmions being mathematical objects-special types of topological solitons-they can emerge in much broader contexts. Recently skyrmions were observed in helimagnets, forming nanoscale spin-textures. Extending over length scales much larger than the interatomic spacing, they behave as large, classical objects, yet deep inside they are of quantum nature. Penetrating into their microscopic roots requires a multi-scale approach, spanning the full quantum to classical domain. Here, we achieve this for the first time in the skyrmionic Mott insulator Cu2OSeO3. We show that its magnetic building blocks are strongly fluctuating Cu-4 tetrahedra, spawning a continuum theory that culminates in 51nm large skyrmions, in striking agreement with experiment. One of the further predictions that ensues is the temperature-dependent decay of skyrmions into half-skyrmions.