Publication Date


Document Type



Physics and Astronomy


Condensed Matter Physics

Publication Title

Physical Review B


We consider the interplay between magnetic skyrmions in an insulating thin film and the Dirac surface states of a 3D topological insulator (TI), coupled by proximity effect. The magnetic texture of skyrmions can lead to confinement of Dirac states at the skyrmion radius, where out of plane magnetization vanishes. This confinement can result in charging of the skyrmion texture. The presence of bound states is robust in an external magnetic field, which is needed to stabilize skyrmions. It is expected that for relevant experimental parameters skyrmions will have a few bound states that can be tuned using an external magnetic field. We argue that these charged skyrmions can be manipulated directly by an electric field, with skyrmion mobility proportional to the number of bound states at the skyrmion radius. Coupling skyrmionic thin films to a TI surface can provide a more direct and efficient way of controlling skyrmion motion in insulating materials. This provides a new dimension in the study of skyrmion manipulation.


This article originally appeared in Physical Review B, volume 91, issue 6, 2015, published by the American Physical Society. ©2015 American Physical Society. The article can also be found online at this link.

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