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Dynamics of domain walls in magnetic nanostrips


Domain walls in ferromagnetic nanostrips can be moved by an applied magnetic field or spin current.  Experiments and numerical simulations reveal a rich dynamics of the wall motion.  In a weak field a wall moves steadily with a velocity proportional to the field strength. Above a critical field the steady motion breaks down, the motion acquires an oscillatory character, and the average velocity drops significantly.  In even higher fields the motion becomes chaotic.

I will show that the root cause of the complex dynamics can be traced to the composite nature of domain walls.  A wall is typically made of 2 or 3 elementary topological defects: integer vortices in the bulk and fractional vortices at the edge.  We model the motion of a wall using collective coordinates to parametrize soft modes.  These modes exhibit an overdamped dynamics with topological terms due to a nonzero skyrmion charge carried by bulk vortices.  The oscillations arise from periodic creation and annihilation of vortices.