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Arrays of Si square dots down to 200 nm in size were patterned on silicon substrates, and thin films of different magnetic materials were sputter deposited on these patterned substrates. The magnetic film covers the top of the dots, the bottom of the grooves and to much less extent the sidewalls of the dots. Single domain magnetic dots were obtained for Co/NiO bilayers and Co/Pt multilayers, without significant direct coupling mediated by the magnetic deposit on the sidewalls of the dots. Our results indicate that, in these arrays, the magnetic pinning forces are stronger than the estimated value of the largest demagnetizing magnetostatic field on each individual dot. As a result, any magnetic configuration could in principle be stored in such arrays. This approach seems therefore very promising for the preparation of magnetic storage media with ultrahigh density. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.