Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

Structural Chirality of Polar Skyrmions Probed by Resonant Elastic X-Ray Scattering


An escalating challenge in condensed-matter research is the characterization of emergent order-parameter nanostructures such as ferroelectric and ferromagnetic skyrmions. Their small length scales coupled with complex, three-dimensional polarization or spin structures makes them demanding to trace out fully. Resonant elastic x-ray scattering (REXS) has emerged as a technique to study chirality in spin textures such as skyrmions and domain walls. It has, however, been used to a considerably lesser extent to study analogous features in ferroelectrics. Here, we present a framework for modeling REXS from an arbitrary arrangement of charge quadrupole moments, which can be applied to nanostructures in materials such as ferroelectrics. With this, we demonstrate how extended reciprocal space scans using REXS with circularly polarized x rays can probe the three-dimensional structure and chirality of polar skyrmions. Measurements, bolstered by quantitative scattering calculations, show that polar skyrmions of mixed chirality coexist, and that REXS allows valuation of relative fractions of right- and left-handed skyrmions. Our quantitative analysis of the structure and chirality of polar skyrmions highlights the capability of REXS for establishing complex topological structures toward future application exploits.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View