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Durham University

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Publication details for Paul Sutcliffe

Sutcliffe, Paul (2017). Skyrmion knots in frustrated magnets. Physical Review Letters 118(24): 247203.

Author(s) from Durham


A magnetic Skyrmion is a stable two-dimensional nanoparticle describing a localized winding of the magnetization in certain magnetic materials. Skyrmions are the subject of intense experimental and theoretical investigation and have potential technological spintronic applications. Here we show that numerical computations of frustrated magnets predict that Skyrmions can be tied into knots to form new stable three-dimensional nanoparticles. These stable equilibria of twisted loops of Skyrmion strings have an integer-valued topological charge, known as the Hopf charge, that counts the number of particles. Rings are formed for low values of this charge, but for higher values it is energetically favorable to form links and then knots. This computational study provides a novel impetus for future experimental work on these nanoknots and an exploration of the potential technological applications of three-dimensional nanoparticles encoding knotted magnetization.