Blowing polar skyrmion bubbles in oxide superlattices

Zijian Hong, Long Qing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Particle-like topological structures such as skyrmions and vortices have garnered ever-increasing interests due to their rich physical insights and potential broad applications in spintronics. Here we discover the reversible switching between polar skyrmion bubbles and ordered vortex arrays in ferroelectric superlattices under an electric field, reminiscent of the Plateau-Raleigh instability in fluid mechanics. An electric field phase diagram is constructed, showing a wide stability window for the observed polar skyrmions. A “volcano”-like pontryagin density distribution is formed, indicating the formation of a smooth circular skyrmion. The topological charge Q at different applied field is calculated, verifying the field-driven topological transition between Q = 0 and Q = ±1 states. This study is a demonstration for the computational design of field-induced topological phase transitions, giving promise for the design of next-generation nanoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Jun 15 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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