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Final Published Version

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Physical Review Materials



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Antiferromagnetically (AFM) coupled skyrmions offer potential advantages for spintronic devices, including reduced dipolar fields that may enable smaller skyrmion sizes and a reduction of the skyrmion Hall effect. However, the topological stability of AFM-coupled skyrmions subjected to dramatic spin deformation through low-temperature cycling has not been investigated. Here we report the discovery of a topological spin memory effect for AFM-coupled skyrmion pairs in [Co/Gd/Pt]10 multilayered films. Photoemission electron microscopy imaging shows that bubble skyrmions in the multilayer that are stable at room temperature evolve into complex in-plane spin textures as the temperature is lowered and reform completely when the sample is warmed back up. Simulations demonstrate that Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions play a key role in this spin memory effect, and furthermore reveal that the topological charge is preserved throughout the dramatic spin texture rearrangement and recovery. These results highlight a key aspect of topological protection—the preservation of the topological properties under continuous deformation—and also provide a promising avenue for information encryption and recovery.


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