Micromagnetic simulations are used to investigate the motion of magnetic skyrmions in an in-plane strain gradient. The skyrmion diameter and energy are found to depend on the strain, which leads to a force that moves the skyrmion toward regions with higher strain. An analytical expression for the skyrmion velocity as a function of the strain gradient is derived assuming a rigid profile for the skyrmion, and good agreement with simulations is obtained. Furthermore, electromechanical simulations of a hybrid ferromagnetic/piezoelectric device show that the in-plane strain gradients needed to move skyrmions can be achieved by applying moderate voltages in the piezoelectric substrate, which offers an original way to control skyrmion motion efficiently.

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