"Extracting magnetic cluster size and its distributions in advanced perpendicular recording media with shrinking grain size using small angle x-ray scattering"

Virat Mehta: Tianhan Wang, Yoshihiro Ikeda, Ken Takano, Bruce D. Terris, Benny Wu, Catherine Graves, Hermann A. Dürr, Andreas Scherz, Jo Stöhr, and Olav Hellwig; Applied Physics Letters, 05/19/2015.

Additional Authors: Tianhan Wang, Yoshihiro Ikeda, Ken Takano, Bruce D. Terris, Benny Wu, Catherine Graves, Hermann A. Dürr, Andreas Scherz, Jo Stöhr, and Olav Hellwig

Abstract:

We analyze the magnetic cluster size (MCS) and magnetic cluster size distribution (MCSD) in a variety of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) media designs using resonant small angle x-ray scattering at the Co L3 absorption edge. The different PMR media flavors considered here vary in grain size between 7.5 and 9.5 nm as well as in lateral inter-granular exchange strength, which is controlled via the segregant amount. While for high inter-granular exchange, the MCS increases rapidly for grain sizes below 8.5 nm, we show that for increased amount of segregant with less exchange the MCS remains relatively small, even for grain sizes of 7.5 and 8 nm. However, the MCSD still increases sharply when shrinking grains from 8 to 7.5 nm. We show evidence that recording performance such as signal-to-noise-ratio on the spin stand correlates well with the product of magnetic cluster size and magnetic cluster size distribution.