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Investigation of Patterned Media Concept for Very High Magnetic Storage Density

B. Horton and J.L. Streator
Georgia Institute of Technology, US

self-assembly, patterned media, magnetic recording, head flyability

One potential architecture for very high magnetic storage density, called perpendicular recording, orients the magnetic domains normal to the media surface to achieve a higher domain volume and therefore increase the thermal stability. Additionally patterned media separates the bit domains so that exchange coupling can be limited and improve thermal stability. This is different from the longitudinal, continuous storage media used in current production hard disk drives. With all the promise that patterned media holds, it is not known if current production slider heads can generate sufficient pressure fields to limit head to disk contact, or achieve full hydrodynamic lubrication (known as ‘flying’ over media). Therefore, the focus of this work is to characterize the flyability of current production slider heads over patterned media through experiments. Extremely dense samples, corresponding to 700 Gbit/in2, are created via nanometer scale self assembled thin film lithography with wet chemical etching. Experiments were carried out to characterize normal load, tangential load, interface contact, fly height, and rotation rate, respectively. It is demonstrated that loss of hydrodynamic lubrication is small for small pattern regions with high conserved surface area ratio. Thus the viability of the process looks promising for magnetic recording applications.

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