Skyrmions are stable topological vortices in the magnetization. They can be created on surfaces of magnetic materials where they move through the materiallike a kind of hose. Their motion can be controlled with magnetic and/or electric fields or currents. Skyrmions have a diameter in the nm range and can be easily generated and also detected. SkyrMem is a novel storage arrangement that uses these properties of the skyrmions. It consists of a strip of magnetic material, about twice as wide as the diameter of a skyrmion. A potential barrier is applied in the center of the strip so that the skyrmions can only be placed above or below the line. This can be used to represent logical "1" and "0". By applying a voltage, the scyrmions can be moved along the strip, permitting serial reading of the information. With SkyrMem, a completely new type of digital memory can be realized. Since scyrmions are very small and nevertheless stable, storage densities above the values customary today for hard disks are possible. High readout rates can also be achieved. SkyrMem provides a technical basis for the storage media of the future. A German patent application was filed, international applications are still possible. In the name of the University of Cologne, we offer interested companies the opportunity to license and further develop the technology.
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