Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Nanoscale magnetic skyrmions in metallic films and multilayers: a new twist for spintronics


Magnetic skyrmions are chiral quasiparticles that show promise for the transportation and storage of information. On a fundamental level, skyrmions are model systems for topologically protected spin textures and can be considered as the counterpart of topologically protected electronic states, emphasizing the role of topology in the classification of complex states of condensed matter. Recent impressive demonstrations of the control of individual nanometre-scale skyrmions — including their creation, detection, manipulation and deletion — have raised expectations for their use in future spintronic devices, including magnetic memories and logic gates. From a materials perspective, it is remarkable that skyrmions can be stabilized in ultrathin transition metal films, such as iron — one of the most abundant elements on earth — if in contact with materials that exhibit high spin–orbit coupling. At present, research in this field is focused on the development of transition-metal-based magnetic multilayer structures that support skyrmionic states at room temperature and allow for the precise control of skyrmions by spin-polarized currents and external fields.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: 3D vectorial spin map of a periodic nanoskyrmion lattice in a monolayer Fe film.
Figure 2: Individual nanoscale skyrmions observed in Pd/Fe bilayer films.
Figure 3: Stabilization of skyrmions in Fe/Ni bilayer films by interlayer-exchange coupling.
Figure 4: Skyrmions in asymmetric magnetic multilayers.
Figure 5: Controlled creation, detection and deletion of individual nanoscale skyrmions.
Figure 6: Nanoscale skyrmions on the track.
Figure 7: Current-driven skyrmion motion along a magnetic nanowire track.


  1. 1

    Bogdanov, N. & Yablonskii, D. A. Thermodynamically stable “vortices” in magnetically ordered crystals: the mixed state of magnets. Sov. Phys. JETP 68, 101–103 (1989).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Bogdanov, N. & Hubert, A. Thermodynamically stable magnetic vortex states in magnetic crystals. J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 138, 255–269 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Rößler, U. K., Bogdanov, N. & Pfleiderer, C. Spontaneous skyrmion ground states in magnetic metals. Nature 442, 797–801 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Mühlbauer, S. et al. Skyrmion lattice in a chiral magnet. Science 323, 915–919 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Yu, X. Z. et al. Real space observation of a two-dimensional skyrmion crystal. Nature 465, 901–904 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Yu, X. Z. et al. Near room-temperature formation of a skyrmion crystal in thin-films of the helimagnet FeGe. Nat. Mater. 10, 106–109 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Yu, X. Z. et al. Skyrmion flow near room-temperature in an ultralow current density. Nat. Commun. 3, 988 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Seki, S., Yu, X. Z., Ishiwata, S. & Tokura, Y. Observation of skyrmions in a multiferroic material. Science 336, 198–201 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Nagaosa, N. & Tokura, Y. Topological properties and dynamics of magnetic skyrmions. Nat. Nanotechnol. 8, 899–911 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Milde, P. et al. Unwinding of a skyrmion lattice by magnetic monopoles. Science 340, 1076–1080 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Park, H. S. et al. Observation of the magnetic flux and three-dimensional structure of skyrmion lattices by electron holography. Nat. Nanotechnol. 9, 337–342 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Romming, N. et al. Writing and deleting single magnetic skyrmions. Science 341, 636–639 (2013). This is the first report on the controlled creation, detection and deletion of individual chiral skyrmions in a metallic bilayer system.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Heinze, S. et al. Spontaneous atomic-scale magnetic skyrmion lattice in two dimensions. Nat. Phy. 7, 713–718 (2011). This is the first report of a nanoscale skyrmionic lattice in an ultrathin magnetic film being stable in zero external magnetic field.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Hagemeister, J., Romming, N., von Bergmann, K., Vedmedenko, E. Y. & Wiesendanger, R. Stability of single skyrmionic bits. Nat. Commun. 6, 8455 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Dzyaloshinskii, I. A thermodynamic theory of “weak” ferromagnetism of antiferromagnetics. J. Phys. Chem. Solids 4, 241–255 (1958).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Moriya, T. New mechanism of anisotropic superexchange interaction. Phys. Rev. Lett. 4, 228–230 (1960).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Moriya, T. Anisotropic superexchange interaction and weak ferromagnetism. Phys. Rev. 120, 91–98 (1960).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Fert, A. & Levy, P. M. Role of anisotropic exchange interactions in determining the properties of spin glasses. Phys. Rev. Lett. 44, 1538–1541 (1980).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Crépieux, A. & Lacroix, C. Dzyaloshinsky–Moriya interactions induced by symmetry breaking at a surface. J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 182, 341–349 (1988).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Fert, A. Magnetic and transport properties of metallic multilayers. Mater. Sci. Forum 5960, 439–480 (1990).

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Bogdanov, A. N. & Rößler, U. K. Chiral symmetry breaking in magnetic thin films and multilayers. Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 037203 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Vedmedenko, E. Y., Udvardi, L., Weinberger, P. & Wiesendanger, R. Chiral magnetic ordering in two-dimensional ferromagnets with competing Dzyaloshinsky–Moriya interactions. Phys. Rev. B 75, 104431 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    von Bergmann, K., Kubetzka, A., Pietzsch, O. & Wiesendanger, R. Interface-induced chiral domain walls, spin spirals and skyrmions revealed by spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy. J. Phys. Condens. Matter 26, 394002 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Romming, N., Kubetzka, A., Hanneken, C., von Bergmann, K. & Wiesendanger, R. Field-dependent size and shape of single magnetic skyrmions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 177203 (2015). This is the first report on the atomic-scale 3D spin structure of individual chiral skyrmions.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Wiesendanger, R. Spin mapping at the nanoscale and atomic scale. Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 1495–1550 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Fert, A., Cros, V. & Sampaio, J. Skyrmions on the track. Nat. Nanotechnol. 8, 152–156 (2013). This paper highlights the potential of skyrmions for future magnetic memory and logic applications.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Zhang, X. et al. Skyrmion–skyrmion and skyrmion–edge repulsions in skyrmion-based racetrack memory. Sci. Rep. 5, 7643 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Zhang, X., Ezawa, M. & Zhou, Y. Magnetic skyrmion logic gates: conversion, duplication and merging of skyrmions. Sci. Rep. 5, 9400 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Hanneken, C. et al. Electrical detection of magnetic skyrmions by tunneling non-collinear magnetoresistance. Nat. Nanotechnol. 10, 1039–1043 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Crum, D. M. et al. Perpendicular reading of single confined magnetic skyrmions. Nat. Commun. 6, 8541 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Monchesky, T. L. Skyrmions: detection with unpolarized currents. Nat. Nanotechnol. 10, 1008–1009 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. 32

    Moreau-Luchaire, C. et al. Additive interfacial chiral interaction in multilayers for stabilization of small individual skyrmions at room temperature. Nat. Nanotechnol. 11, 444–448 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. 33

    Woo, S. et al. Observation of room temperature magnetic skyrmions and their current-driven dynamics in ultrathin films. Nat. Mater. 15, 501–506 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. 34

    Hsu, P.-J. et al. Electric field switching of individual magnetic skyrmions. Preprint at (2016).

  35. 35

    Pietzsch, O. & Wiesendanger, R. Non-collinear magnetic order in nanostructures investigated by spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy. Pure Appl. Chem. 83, 1981–1988 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  36. 36

    Pietzsch, O. & Wiesendanger, R. in Fundamentals of Picoscience (ed. Sattler, K. D. ) 413–445 (CRC Press, 2013).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  37. 37

    Pietzsch, O., Kubetzka, A., Bode, M. & Wiesendanger, R. Observation of magnetic hysteresis at the nanometer scale by spin-polarized scanning tunneling spectroscopy. Science 292, 2053–2056 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. 38

    Kubetzka, A., Bode, M., Pietzsch, O. & Wiesendanger, R. Spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy with antiferromagnetic probe tips. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 057201 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. 39

    Bode, M. et al. Magnetization-direction-dependent local electronic structure probed by scanning tunneling spectroscopy. Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 237205 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  40. 40

    Kubetzka, A., Pietzsch, O., Bode, M. & Wiesendanger, R. Spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy study of 360 degrees walls in an external magnetic field. Phys. Rev. B 67, 020401 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  41. 41

    Heide, M., Bihlmayer, G. & Blügel, S. Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction accounting for the orientation of magnetic domains in ultrathin films: Fe/W(110). Phys. Rev. B 78, 140403 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  42. 42

    Thiaville, A., Rohart, S., Jué, È., Cros, V. & Fert, A. Dynamics of Dzyaloshinskii domain walls in ultrathin magnetic films. Europhys. Lett. 100, 57002 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  43. 43

    Ryu, K.-S., Thomas, L., Yang, S.-H. & Parkin, S. Chiral spin torque at magnetic domain walls. Nat. Nanotechnol. 8, 527–533 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. 44

    Torrejon, J. et al. Interface control of the magnetic chirality in CoFeB/MgO heterostructures with heavy-metal underlayers. Nat. Commun. 5, 4655 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  45. 45

    Bode, M. et al. Chiral magnetic order at surfaces driven by inversion asymmetry. Nature 447, 190–193 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  46. 46

    Ferriani, P. et al. Atomic-scale non-collinear magnetic order in thin films induced by spin–orbit coupling. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 027201 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  47. 47

    Santos, B. et al. Structure and magnetism of ultra-thin chromium layers on W(110). New J. Phys. 10, 013005 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  48. 48

    Meckler, S. et al. Real-space observation of a right-handed inhomogeneous cycloidal spin spiral by spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy in a triple axes vector magnet. Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 157201 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  49. 49

    Meckler, S., Pietzsch, O., Mikuszeit, N. & Wiesendanger, R. Micromagnetic description of the spin spiral in Fe double-layer stripes on W(110). Phys. Rev. B 85, 024420 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  50. 50

    Menzel, M. Information transfer by vector spin chirality in finite magnetic chains. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 197204 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. 51

    Hsu, P.-J. et al. Guiding spin spirals by local uniaxial strain relief. Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 017201 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  52. 52

    Yoshida, Y. et al. Conical spin-spiral state in an ultra-thin film driven by higher-order spin interactions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 087205 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  53. 53

    Pfleiderer, C. Magnetic order: surfaces get hairy. Nat. Phys. 7, 673–674 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  54. 54

    Sonntag, A., Hermenau, J., Krause, S. & Wiesendanger, R. Thermal stability of an interface-stabilized skyrmion lattice. Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 077202 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  55. 55

    von Bergmann, K., Menzel, M., Kubetzka, A. & Wiesendanger, R. Influence of the local atom configuration on a hexagonal skyrmion lattice. Nano Lett. 15, 3280–3285 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  56. 56

    Schlenhoff, A. et al. Magnetic nano-skyrmion lattice observed in a Si-wafer-based multilayer system. ACS Nano 9, 5908–5912 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  57. 57

    Wiesendanger, R., Güntherodt, H.-J., Güntherodt, G., Gambino, R. J. & Ruf, R. Observation of vacuum tunneling of spin-polarized electrons with the scanning tunneling microscope. Phys. Rev. Lett. 65, 247–250 (1990).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  58. 58

    Meckler, S., Gyamfi, M., Pietzsch, O. & Wiesendanger, R. A low-temperature spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscope operating in a fully rotatable magnetic field. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 023708 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  59. 59

    von Bergmann, K. et al. Observation of a complex nanoscale magnetic structure in a hexagonal Fe monolayer. Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 167203 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  60. 60

    von Bergmann, K. et al. Complex magnetism of the Fe monolayer on Ir(111). New. J. Phys. 9, 396 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  61. 61

    von Bergmann, K. Complex magnetic order on the atomic scale revealed by spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy. Phil. Mag. 88, 2627–2642 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  62. 62

    Kiselev, N. S., Bogdanov, A. N., Schäfer, R. & Rößler, U. K. Chiral skyrmions in thin magnetic films: new objects for magnetic storage technologies? J. Phys. D Appl. Phys. 44, 392001 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  63. 63

    Leonov, A. O. et al. The properties of isolated chiral skyrmions in thin magnetic films. New. J. Phys. 18, 065003 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  64. 64

    Duine, R. Skyrmions singled out. Nat. Nanotechnol. 8, 800–802 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  65. 65

    Chen, G., Mascaraque, A., N'Diaye, A. T. & Schmid, A. K. Room temperature skyrmion ground state stabilized through interlayer exchange coupling. Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 242404 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  66. 66

    Krause, S. Berbil-Bautista, L., Herzog, G., Bode, M. & Wiesendanger, R. Current-induced magnetization switching with a spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscope. Science 317, 1537–1540 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  67. 67

    Khajetoorians, A. A. Current-driven spin dynamics of artificially constructed quantum magnets. Science 339, 55–59 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  68. 68

    White, J. S. et al. Electric-field-induced skyrmion distortion and giant lattice rotation in the magnetoelectric insulator Cu2OSeO3 . Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 107203 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  69. 69

    Zhou, Y. & Ezawa, M. A reversible conversion between a skyrmion and a domain-wall pair in a junction geometry. Nat. Commun. 5, 4652 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  70. 70

    Ma, F., Zhou, Y., Braun, H. B. & Lew, W. S. Skyrmion-based dynamic magnonic crystal. Nano Lett. 15, 4029–4036 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  71. 71

    Zhang, X. et al. All-magnetic control of skyrmions in nanowires by a spin wave. Nanotechnology 26, 225701 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. 72

    Jiang, W. et al. Blowing magnetic skyrmion bubbles. Science 349, 283–286 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  73. 73

    Shibata, K. et al. Large anisotropic deformation of skyrmions in strained crystal. Nat. Nanotechnol. 10, 589–593 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  74. 74

    Hagemeister, J., Vedmedenko, E. & Wiesendanger, R. Pattern formation in skyrmionic materials with anisotropic environments. Preprint at (2016).

  75. 75

    Tokunaga, Y. et al. A new class of chiral materials hosting magnetic skyrmions beyond room temperature. Nat. Commun. 6, 7638 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  76. 76

    Boulle, O. et al. Room-temperature chiral magnetic skyrmions in ultrathin magnetic nanostructures. Nat. Nanotechnol. 11, 449–454 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  77. 77

    Simon, E., Palotás, K., Rózsa, L., Udvardi, L. & Szunyogh, L. Formation of magnetic skyrmions with tunable properties in PdFe bilayer deposited on Ir(111). Phys. Rev. B 90, 094410 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  78. 78

    Dupé, B., Hoffmann, M., Paillard, C. & Heinze, S. Tailoring magnetic skyrmions in ultra-thin transition metal films. Nat. Commun. 5, 4030 (2014). This paper highlights the possibility to tune the properties of chiral skyrmions by interface engineering.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  79. 79

    Sampaio, J., Cros, V., Rohart, S., Thiaville, A. & Fert, A. Nucleation, stability and current-induced motion of isolated magnetic skyrmions in nanostructures. Nat. Nanotechnol. 8, 839–843 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  80. 80

    Liu, Y.-H. & Li, Y.-Q. A mechanism to pin skyrmions in chiral magnets. J. Phys. Condens. Matter 25, 076005 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  81. 81

    Silva, R. L., Secchin, L. D., Moura-Melo, W. A., Pereira, A. R. & Stamps, R. L. Emergence of skyrmion lattices and bimerons in chiral magnetic thin films with nonmagnetic impurities. Phys. Rev. B 89, 054434 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  82. 82

    Müller, J. & Rosch, A. Capturing of a magnetic skyrmion with a hole. Phys. Rev. B 91, 054410 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  83. 83

    Ding, J., Yang, X. & Zhu, T. Manipulating current induced motion of magnetic skyrmions in the magnetic nanotrack. J. Phys. Appl. Phys. 48, 115004 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  84. 84

    Parkin, S. S. P., Hayashi, M. & Thomas, L. Magnetic domain-wall racetrack memory. Science 320, 190–194 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  85. 85

    Brede, J. et al. Long-range magnetic coupling between nanoscale organic–metal hybrids mediated by a nanoskyrmion lattice. Nat. Nanotechnol. 9, 1018–1023 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  86. 86

    Cinchetti, M. Topology communicates. Nat. Nanotechnol. 9, 965–966 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  87. 87

    Skyrme, T. H. A non-linear field theory. Proc. R. Soc. A 260, 127–138 (1961).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  88. 88

    Skyrme, T. H. R. A unified field theory of mesons and baryons. Nucl. Phys. 31, 556–569 (1962).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  89. 89

    Wright, D. C. & Mermin, N. D. Crystalline liquids — the blue phases. Rev. Mod. Phys. 61, 385–432 (1989).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  90. 90

    Brey, L., Fertig, A. H., Côté, R. & MacDonald, A. H. Skyrme crystal in a two-dimensional electron gas. Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 2562–2565 (1995).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  91. 91

    Al'Khawaja, U. & Stoof, H. T. C. Skyrmions in a ferromagnetic Bose–Einstein condensate. Nature 411, 918–920 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  92. 92

    Cross, M. C. & Hohenberg, P. C. Pattern formation outside of equilibrium. Rev. Mod. Phys. 65, 851 (1993).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  93. 93

    Derrick, G. H. Comments on nonlinear wave equations as models for elementary particles. J. Math. Phys. 5, 1252–1254 (1964).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  94. 94

    Iwasaki, J., Mochizuki, M. & Nagaosa, N. Current-induced skyrmion dynamics in constricted geometries. Nat. Nanotechnol. 8, 742–747 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  95. 95

    Smith, D. A. New mechanisms for magnetic anisotropy in localised S-state moment materials. J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 1, 214–225 (1976).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  96. 96

    Zhou, L. et al. Strength and directionality of surface Ruderman–Kittel–Kasuya–Yosida interaction mapped on the atomic scale. Nat. Phys. 6, 187–191 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  97. 97

    Khajetoorians, A. A. et al. Tailoring the chiral magnetic interaction between two individual atoms. Nat. Commun. 7, 10620 (2016). This is the first report on a direct real-space study of Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interactions at the atomic scale.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


The author thanks his coworkers and collaborators, M. Bazarnik, K. von Bergmann, G. Bihlmayer, S. Blügel, A. N. Bogdanov, J. Brede, B. Dupé, A. Finco, J. Friedlein, J. Hagemeister, C. Hanneken, S. Heinze, J. Hermenau, P.-J. Hsu, A. A. Khajetoorians, S. Krause, A. Kubetzka, A. O. Leonov, P. Lindner, S. Lounis, M. Menzel, F. Otte, N. Romming, A. Schlenhoff, A. Sonntag, M. Steinbrecher, E. Vedmedenko and J. Wiebe for their contributions and discussions. The author also thanks G. Beach, G. Chen, V. Cros and M. Kläui for providing figures of their work for this review. Financial support from the European Union (FET-Open MAGicSky No. 665095), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 668) and the Hamburgische Stiftung für Wissenschaften, Entwicklung und Kultur Helmut und Hannelore Greve is gratefully acknowledged.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Roland Wiesendanger.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

PowerPoint slides

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wiesendanger, R. Nanoscale magnetic skyrmions in metallic films and multilayers: a new twist for spintronics. Nat Rev Mater 1, 16044 (2016).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing