In today’s world, our lives are unimaginable without computers. Up until now, these devices process information using primarily electrons as charge carriers, with the components themselves heating up significantly in the process. Active cooling is thus necessary, which comes with high energy costs. Spintronics aims to solve this problem: Instead of utilizing the electron flow for information processing, it relies on their spin or their intrinsic angular momentum. This approach is expected to have a positive impact on the size, speed, and sustainability of computers or specific components.

Science often does not simply consider the spin of an individual electron, but rather magnetic whirls composed of numerous spins. These whirls called skyrmions emerge in magnetic metallic thin layers and can be considered as two-dimensional quasi-particles. On the one hand, the whirls can be deliberately moved by applying a small electric current to the thin layers; on the other hand, they move randomly and extremely efficiently due to diffusion. The feasibility of creating a functional computer based on skyrmions was demonstrated by a team of researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), led by Professor Dr. Mathias Kläui, using an initial prototype. This prototype consisted of thin, stacked metallic layers, some only a few atomic layers thick.

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