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Physics  2014 

Chiral nature of magnetic monopoles in artificial spin ice

DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/3/035026

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Abstract:

Micromagnetic properties of monopoles in artificial kagome spin ice systems are investigated using numerical simulations. We show that micromagnetics brings additional complexity into the physics of these monopoles that is, by essence, absent in spin models: besides a fractionalized classical magnetic charge, monopoles in the artificial kagome ice are chiral at remanence. Our simulations predict that the chirality of these monopoles can be controlled without altering their charge state. This chirality breaks the vertex symmetry and triggers a directional motion of the monopole under an applied magnetic field. Our results also show that the choice of the geometrical features of the lattice can be used to turn on and off this chirality, thus allowing the investigation of chiral and achiral monopoles.

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