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Topology of spin meron pairs in coupled Ni/Fe/Co/Cu(001) disks

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The meron is a special topological object that carries only one-half of the topological charge unit. In condensed matter physics, a spin meron corresponds to one-half of a spin skyrmion. As compared to the many fascinating topological properties of skyrmion materials, little is known of the properties of spin merons especially about their formation. It was confirmed only recently that hedgehog merons could exist in pairs with opposite helicities via a spin flux closure. However, it is unclear whether a single hedgehog meron could ever exist by pairing with another type of meron. Using element-resolved magnetic imaging measurements on epitaxial trilayer disks, we show that a spin meron with a full range of helicity, including the hedgehog meron, can be stabilized by pairing with another vortex meron with a fine tuning of the magnetic coupling between the two merons. Furthermore, the meron divergence is fully controlled by the polarity of the vortex meron, independent of the vortex helicity.

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