Researchers from Japan and China have discovered the exotic dynamics of frustrated magnetic skyrmions - which are different from that of magnetic skyrmions in common ferromagnetic materials. Magnetic skyrmions are very interesting for several spintronic applications, including magnetic memory and logic computing devices.

Skyrmions and antiskyrmions in a frustrated magnet photo

In conventional ferromagnetic materials, the helicity (degree of freedom) of a skyrmion cannot be effectively controlled, but the researchers found that in frustrated magnetic materials it is possible to control the skyrmion helicity by utilizing the helicity locking-unlocking transition of the material. The researcher further conclude that one can use frustrated skyrmions as a binary memory utilizing two stable Bloch-type states, where the helicity can be switched by applying current.