A nonequilibrium rapid-quenching method has been used to fabricate NiMnIn and NiMnGa alloys that are chemically and morphologically similar but crystallographically and physically very different. NiMnGa crystallizes in a Ni2In-type hexagonal structure, whereas NiMnIn is a cubic Heusler alloy. Both alloys yield a topological Hall effect contribution corresponding to bubble-type skyrmion spin structures, but it occurs in much lower magnetic fields in NiMnIn as compared to NiMnGa. The effect is unrelated to net Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions, which are absent in both alloys due to their inversion-symmetric crystal structures. Based on magnetic-force microscopy, we explain the difference between the two alloys by magnetocrystalline anisotropy and uniaxial and cubic anisotropies yielding full-fledged and reduced topological Hall effects, respectively. Since NiMnIn involves small magnetic fields (0.02-0.3 kOe) at and above room temperature, it is of potential interest in spin electronics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)