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Priority Programme ,,Skyrmionics: Topological Spin Phenomena in Real-Space for Applications (SSP 2137)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
In 2017, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme "Skyrmionics: Topological Spin Phenomena in Real-Space for Applications" (SPP 2137). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

The main objective of the Priority Programme concerns fundamental research towards the development of devices and applications based on topological spin solitons in real space, alluding to skyrmions as most prominent examples. It is motivated by the discovery of skyrmion lattices and isolated skyrmions in magnetic materials exhibiting bulk or interface inversion-asymmetry and associated Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions. Skyrmions can be found in bulk compounds and tailored thin film and nano-systems. Early studies of the fundamental properties of skyrmion systems have revealed strong effects of Berry phases that may be described by emerging electric and magnetic fields. Recent advances focus in addition on skyrmions in antiferromagnetic and geometrically frustrated materials, tailored creation and decay routes of skyrmions, the dynamical properties of skyrmions, and skyrmions in the quantum limit as well as avenues towards more sophisticated topological textures such as hopfions.

Experimental and theoretical evidence that thin films, nano-wires and nano-dots are particularly amenable to the formation of topological spin solitons, underscore their potential for major breakthroughs in applications. Moreover, advances in thin-film heterostructures demonstrate that skyrmions stabilised by interface-mediated Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions as well as further stabilisation mechanisms may be tailored for applications at room temperature.

The main aspects to be addressed within the programme concern non-trivial topological characteristics (e.g. skyrmions, antiskyrmions, hopfions, hybrid-particles composed of skyrmions and magnetic singularities) and associated solitonic properties stabilised by anti-symmetric (chiral) spin-orbit coupling as well as further interactions.

The Priority Programme is broadly organised in three research areas:

o new materials classes and stabilisation mechanisms of static and dynamic properties of topological spin solitons
o topological spin solitons in nanostructured systems
o topological spin solitons in artificial composite systems
o pursuing the following milestones:
o identification of new stabilisation mechanisms and materials classes, including frustration, disorder and other forms of competing interactions
o determination of the fundamental properties of topological solitons in view of novel functionalities
o tailored design of topological spin phenomena in thin films including bulk samples in the thin film limit
o creation, destruction and external manipulation of skyrmions and related topological spin phenomena in nano-structured systems amenable for applications
o exploration of low-energy transport, dynamical properties and tailored excitations in bulk materials, nano-structures and artificial composite systems beyond multilayers
o creation of novel hybrid architectures bringing together non-trivial topological textures in real and reciprocal space

The Priority Programme has an interdisciplinary character. It aims to connect the spintronics community with fundamental research on new materials, as well as engineering, mathematics and chemistry related aspects. The progress on skyrmionics is gained through mathematical reasoning, micromagnetic and atomistic simulations, computational and theoretical condensed matter physics, cutting edge synthesis techniques, advanced and highly specialised imaging and characterisation methods, supplemented with engineering strategies developed for the design of nano-electronic devices.
The Priority Programme encourages a broader exchange of scientific ideas and concepts with areas such as particle and nuclear physics, quantum Hall systems and soft matter (polymers and liquid crystals). However, specific proposals from these communities are not in the focus of the programme.

For organisational reasons all those considering to submit an application are kindly requested to send an outline of their proposal for the second three-year funding period in electronic form (pdf-file) to the DFG-office (ellen.reister@dfg.de ) and the coordinator (christian.pfleiderer@frm2.tum.de ) by 1 September 2020

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:
Professor Dr. Christian Pfleiderer,
Technische Universität München (TUM),
Physik-Department, Arbeitsgruppe Topologie korrelierter Systeme,
James-Franck-Str. 1, 85748 Garching,
phone +49 89 289-14720,

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:
Programme contact:
Dr. Ellen Reister,
phone +49 228 885-2332,

Administrative contact:
Natalie Kaiser,
phone +49 228 885-2184,

Further Information: