Topologically nontrivial spin textures
One area of active interest is in the formation of topologically nontrivial spin textures in itinerant magnetic materials. Chiral spin states under the right conditions are known to destabilize into unusual defect states such as skyrmion lattices that act like protected points of topological charge. These states are of potential technological interest in low power memory applications and also in low field magnetocaloric devices. We are interested in exploring how these states and other chiral, noncollinear spin textures can be stabilized in systems which nominally possess inversion symmetry. For instance, how elements of lattice strain and strain gradients can be harnessed to nucleate and control these new magnentic states is an open frontier, and we are exploring the means through which lattice symmetries can be modified in bulk materials in order to control magnetism.