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Skyrmions in blue phases

skyrmions.jpgIn the e-journal Nature Communications Jun-ichi Fukuda (AIST, Tsukuba, Japan & Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana) and Slobodan Žumer (Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana & Jožef Stefan Institute) published the paper Quasi-two-dimensional Skyrmion lattices in a chiral nematic liquid crystal. The authors demonstrate that skyrmione lattices can be stable also in blue phases (highly chiral liquid crystals), when confined to thin layers. Skyrmions are topological objects in the order parameter field, characterized by specific local chiral structures. They have been first introduced in particle physics while recently they are particularly relevant for the understanding of structures in chiral magnets.