Skyrmions that spin on the surface of magnetic films like tiny vortices have been touted as the answer to our rising demand for data storage. Now, physicists in the UK and the US have shown that multiple anti-skyrmions can be contained within a larger structure that they have called a “skyrmion bag”, which, they say, could store more information than is possible with a single skyrmion.

“We need new technological approaches to increase the amount of data we want to store in our computers, phones and other devices, and skyrmion bags might be a route to this,” says lead author Mark Dennis of the University of Birmingham in the UK. “Rather than using trains of single skyrmions to encode binary bits, each skyrmion bag can hold any number of skyrmions, massively increasing the potential for data storage.”

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