Session L14: Focus Session: Patterned and High Anisotropy Films for Data Storage

2:30 PM–5:18 PM, Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Colorado Convention Center Room: Korbel 4D

Sponsoring Units: GMAG FIAP
Chair: David Lederman, West Virginia University

Abstract ID: BAPS.2007.MAR.L14.5

Abstract: L14.00005 : Origins of switching field distributions in nanopatterned Co/Pd multilayers

3:42 PM–3:54 PM

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  Justin Shaw

  William Rippard

  Stephen Russek

  Timothy Reith
    (University of Arizona)

  Charles Falco
    (University of Arizona)

We studied the reversal properties of perpendicularly magnetized nanodot arrays down to 50 nm in diameter. When continuous films undergo nanopatterning the phenomenon of a switching field distribution (SFD) becomes significant whereby the reversal fields from nanostructure-to-nanostructure vary. In applications such as patterned storage media, a broad SFD is undesirable since all nanostructures will not reliably switch at the same applied field. The origin of this phenomenon has been attributed primarily to grain boundary variations within a nanostructure as well as lithographic variations that occur during processing. While these two factors will certainly contribute to a larger SFD, we find that the primary origin of a SFD is an intrinsic material property of the continuous film. We will present our results of nanostructured Co/Pd exchange coupled multilayers. By changing the material properties using various seed layers and growth conditions, we were able to reduce the SFD to below 5 {\%} of the average switching field. By studying both polycrystalline and epitaxial multilayers we isolated the effects of grain boundary variation since epitaxial nanostructures are all single grain with identical orientation.

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