Indexed on: 15 May '15Published on: 15 May '15Published in: Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect
We theoretically study equilibrium and dynamic properties of nanosized magnetic skyrmions in thin magnetic films with broken inversion symmetry, where electric field couples to magnetization via spin-orbit coupling. Based on a symmetry-based phenomenology and micromagnetic simulations we show that this electric-field coupling, via renormalizing the micromagnetic energy, modifies the equilibrium properties of the skyrmion. This change, in turn, results in a significant alteration of the current-induced skyrmion motion. Particularly, speed and direction of the skyrmion can be manipulated by designing a desired energy landscape electrically, which we describe within Thiele's analytical model and demonstrate in micromagnetic simulations including electric-field-controlled magnetic anisotropy. We additionally use this electric-field control to construct gates for controlling skyrmion motion exhibiting a transistor-like and multiplexer-like function. The proposed electric-field effect can thus provide a low energy electrical knob to extend the reach of information processing with skyrmions.