Journal of Applied Physics

Coupled granular/continuous perpendicular recording media with soft magnetic underlayer

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Fabrication, magnetic properties, and read/write characteristics of coupled granular/continuous (CGC) perpendicular media are described. The media consist of continuous Co/Pt multilayers, which have a strong in-plane exchange coupling, and a granular CoCrPt layer on top of a soft magnetic underlayer. These continuous and granular layers are magnetically coupled, thus the switching field distribution becomes effectively narrower. Recording measurements using a single-pole writer and a giant magnetoresistive reader show substantial improvement in the head output and resolution of the CGC medium, compared to the plain granular medium. Transition jitter and medium noise are reduced in the CGC media. As a result, the CGC media have 3-5 dB higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and better thermal stability than the plain granular medium. The concept of CGC perpendicular media is a viable way to achieve both the thermal stability and medium SNR requirements for high-density recording. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.