Direct observation of attractive skyrmions and skyrmion clusters in the cubic helimagnet Cu2OSeO3

01 Jun 2018

We report the discovery of attractive magnetic skyrmions and their clusters in non-centrosymmetric ferromagnets. These three-dimensional solitons have been predicted to exist in the cone phase of chiral ferromagnets (J. Phys: Condens. Matter 28 (2016) 35LT01) and are fundamentally different from the more common repulsive axisymmetric skyrmions that occur in the magnetically saturated state. We present real-space images of these skyrmion clusters in thin (~70 nm) single-crystal samples of Cu2OSeO3 taken using transmission electron microscopy and develop a phenomenological theory describing this type of skyrmion.