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This paper discusses the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy of reactively sputtered cobalt nitride thin films. The perpendicular anisotropy is induced in an almost single γ phase film, and does not depend on its crystallite orientation. The films with the anisotropy exhibit a clear columnar structure. The structure changes to a granular one as temperature increases above 300°C. This change is caused by the nitrogen dissociation from the films. Finally, the actual measurements on recording characteristics are performed on CoNx films, and high density perpendicular recording is realized.