Magnetic Chirality Controlled by the Interlayer Exchange Interaction

Mariëlle J. Meijer (Corresponding author), Juriaan Lucassen, Oleg Kurnosikov, Henk J.M. Swagten, Bert Koopmans, Fabian Kloodt-Twesten, Robert Frömter, Rembert A. Duine, Reinoud Lavrijsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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Chiral magnetism, wherein there is a preferred sense of rotation of the magnetization, determines the chiral nature of magnetic textures such as skyrmions, domain walls, or spin spirals. Current research focuses on identifying and controlling the interactions that define the magnetic chirality in thin film multilayers. The influence of the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (IDMI) and, recently, the dipolar interactions have been reported. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that an indirect interlayer exchange interaction can be used as an additional tool to effectively manipulate the magnetic chirality. We image the chirality of magnetic domain walls in a coupled bilayer system using scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis. Upon increasing the interlayer exchange coupling, we induce a transition of the magnetic chirality from clockwise rotating Néel walls to degenerate Bloch-Néel domain walls and we confirm our findings with micromagnetic simulations. In multilayered systems relevant for skyrmion research, a uniform magnetic chirality across the magnetic layers is often desired. Additional simulations show that this can be achieved for reduced IDMI values (up to 30%) when exploiting the interlayer exchange interaction. This work opens up new ways to control and tailor the magnetic chirality by the interlayer exchange interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number207203
Pages (from-to)207203
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2020


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