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Tunneling-stabilized magnetic force microscopy of bit tracks on a hard disk

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2 Author(s)
P. Rice ; Nat. Inst. of Stand. & Technol., Boulder, CO, USA ; J. Moreland

A scanning tunneling microscope (STM) for surface magnetic force measurements on thin-film longitudinal magnetic storage media is described. The usual rigid PtIr tip of the STM was replaced by a flexible Fe-film tip and the tip position was stabilized near the surface of the sample using the STM feedback system as tunneling occurs between the tip and sample surface. Images of a CoCrTa thin-film hard disk showing 5 μm×3 μm bit tracks written by the ferrite head of a computer disk drive are presented. The images shown are comparable to images of the bit tracks on textured surfaces using either ferrofluid decoration or other magnetic force microscopy (MFM) imaging techniques. The sensitivity of the Fe-film tip was such that the influence on the image due to magnetic forces was larger than the influence due to sample surface topography

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 3 )