Publication
Journal of Applied Physics
Paper

Edge-closed laminated structures for thin-film heads

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Abstract

Magnetic film laminations containing nonmagnetic spacers have been explored with the hope of eliminating domain walls to diminish Barkhausen instabilities. Such laminates have limitations however, which originate in their "edge-curling walls" (ECWs).1 We have developed a new structure, free of ECWs, in which flux closure at opposing edges occurs via edge-shorting material added to circulate the easy-axis flux of the flat layers. We show experimentally with Kerr-effect imaging that (1) this edge-closed laminated (ECL) structure can support an (ECW-free) "easy-axis" (EA) magnetic state under conditions as modeled recently by Slonczewski,2 and (2) that this EA state is quite robust in the face of imperfect structure fabrication. This is, if the imperfections are not too severe, the resultant states depart minimally from the pure EA state and conduct hard-axis-driven flux nearly as well. Flat-film ECL elements in diamond, stripe, and recording-head-yoke shapes, plus experimental heads with ECL top yokes, were fabricated. Our domain images verify some key predictions from Slonczewski's static equilibrium modeling; additional results taken in applied magnetic fields extend the micromagnetic understanding. The sketch shows a typical domain pattem for a yoke-shaped element. The most stable state in the open portion of the yoke is the single domain shown. This remanent pattern was stable in the face of (slowly varying) external fields up to the 150 Oe that could be applied. The pole tip region contained a few 180°walls as indicated. On close inspection, these walls were seen to end in vestigial, nontouching, closure domains as predicted by the model when only partial flux closure occurs via the edge shorting material. The wall spacing in the tip varied somewhat following saturation-demagnetization cycles. The dynamic stability of this EA state was investigated in the experimental heads having ECL top yokes. The pseudodynamic LAMOM technique3 was applied using "write" pulsations. The EA state was stable up to twice typical write currents. A movie of dynamic results will be shown.

Date

01 Dec 1991

Publication

Journal of Applied Physics

Authors

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