Transverse instabilities of stripe domains in magnetic thin films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy
Journal article, 2018
Stripe domains are narrow, elongated, reversed regions that exist in magnetic materials with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. They appear as a pair of domain walls that can exhibit topology with a nonzero chirality. Recent experimental and numerical investigations identify an instability of stripe domains along the long direction as a means of nucleating isolated magnetic skyrmions. Here, the onset and nonlinear evolution of transverse instabilities for a dynamic stripe domain known as the bion stripe are investigated. Both nontopological and topological variants of the bion stripe are shown to exhibit a long-wavelength transverse instability with different characteristic features. In the former, small transverse variations in the stripe's width lead to a neck instability that eventually pinches the nontopological stripe into a chain of two-dimensional breathers composed of droplet soliton pairs. In the latter case, small variations in the stripe's center result in a snake instability whose topological structure leads to the nucleation of dynamic magnetic skyrmions and antiskyrmions as well as perimeter-modulated droplets. Quantitative, analytical predictions for both the early, linear evolution and the long-time, nonlinear evolution are achieved using an averaged Lagrangian approach that incorporates both exchange (dispersion) and anisotropy (nonlinearity). The method of analysis is general and can be applied to other filamentary structures.