Squishing Skyrmions: Symmetry-Guided Dynamic Transformation of Polar Topologies Under Compression. Academic Article uri icon


  • Mechanical controllability of recently discovered topological defects (e.g., skyrmions) in ferroelectric materials is of interest for the development of ultralow-power mechano-electronics that are protected against thermal noise. However, fundamental understanding is hindered by the "multiscale quantum challenge" to describe topological switching encompassing large spatiotemporal scales with quantum mechanical accuracy. Here, we overcome this challenge by developing a machine-learning-based multiscale simulation frameworka hybrid neural network quantum molecular dynamics (NNQMD) and molecular mechanics (MM) method. For nanostructures composed of SrTiO3 and PbTiO3, we find how the symmetry of mechanical loading essentially controls polar topological switching. We find under symmetry-breaking uniaxial compression a squishing-to-annihilation pathway versus formation of a topological composite named skyrmionium under symmetry-preserving isotropic compression. The distinct pathways are explained in terms of the underlying materials' elasticity and symmetry, as well as the Landau-Lifshitz-Kittel scaling law. Such rational control of ferroelectric topologies will likely facilitate exploration of the rich ferroelectric "topotronics" design space.

published proceedings

  • J Phys Chem Lett

author list (cited authors)

  • Linker, T., Nomura, K., Fukushima, S., Kalia, R. K., Krishnamoorthy, A., Nakano, A., ... Vashishta, P.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Linker, Thomas||Nomura, Ken-Ichi||Fukushima, Shogo||Kalia, Rajiv K||Krishnamoorthy, Aravind||Nakano, Aiichiro||Shimamura, Kohei||Shimojo, Fuyuki||Vashishta, Priya

publication date

  • January 2022