Science snapshots from Berkeley Lab

New Berkeley Lab breakthroughs: engineering chemical-producing microbes; watching enzyme reactions in real time; capturing the first image of ‘electron ice’; revealing how skyrmions really move

Big step with small whirls

Skyrmions are small magnetic objects that could revolutionize the data storage industry and also enable new computer architectures. However, before they can be utilized in such applications, there are still a number of challenges that need to be overcome. A team of Empa researchers has now succeeded for the first time in producing a tunable multilayer system in which two different types of skyrmions – the future bits for “0” and “1” – can exist at room temperature, as they recently reported in the renowned journal Nature Communications.