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Topological Solitons in Antiferroics

Project description

On the trail of novel spintronic and electronic devices via exotic light-matter interactions

Topological states are exotic phases of matter resistant to change. They give rise to phenomena such as crystals that insulate on the inside but conduct electricity on their surfaces (topological insulators) or chiral arrangements of some order parameters in real space. It is also possible to isolate individual topological entities and use them for specific tasks, especially for information technology purposes. The EU-funded TSAR project will investigate topological phenomena in 'unconventional' topological materials where the staggered orders (electric and magnetic) result in a macroscopic cancellation of their built-in fields. This will open new horizons in the manipulation of individual topological solitons at very fast speed.


With the end of Moore’s law in sight, new schemes must be devised to achieve energy efficient, high density and high-speed data storage and processing. One emerging concept in today’s condensed-matter physics that may fuel next-generation information technology is topology. Topological phenomena in real space can give rise to interesting objects (for instance magnetic skyrmions), which are topologically protected, i.e. endowed with an energy barrier associated with a change in their topology class. These solitonic objects have been found mainly in magnetic materials like ferromagnets and there are very recent reports that ferroelectrics may also be able to host them. Interestingly, antiferroic orders like antiferromagnetism or antiferroelectricity would provide extra properties e.g. a faster motion or an increased robustness. In TSAR, we will design antiferroic systems based on oxide materials where spin and electric dipole textures will be nucleated. We will devise approaches to control these topological solitons using different stimuli, and in particular ultra-fast vortex light pulses carrying angular orbital momentum. Gathering a consortium with broad expertise comprising academic (experimental and theoretical groups) and industrial partners, strategies will be devised and applied starting from high quality materials to devices. The targeted breakthrough of our project is to realize the first proof-of-concept for agile, low-power, room-temperature spintronic and electronic devices based on antiferroic topological materials. Their intrinsic high speed operation and low-power consumption will help tackling present societal challenges. Success in these endeavors will establish topological antiferroic systems as a novel versatile platform for future energy-efficient nanoelectronics.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 492 712,50
Other funding
€ 376,25

Participants (8)