Scientific Reports

Lateral displacement induced disorder in L10-FePt nanostructures by ion-implantation

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Ion implantation is a promising technique for fabricating high density bit patterned media (BPM) as it may eliminate the requirement of disk planarization. However, there has not been any notable study on the impact of implantation on BPM fabrication of FePt, particularly at nano-scale, where the lateral straggle of implanted ions may become comparable to the feature size. In this work, implantation of antimony ions in patterned and unpatterned L10-FePt thin films has been investigated. Unpatterned films implanted with high fluence of antimony exhibited reduced out-of-plane coercivity and change of magnetic anisotropy from perpendicular direction to film-plane. Interestingly, for samples implanted through patterned masks, the perpendicular anisotropy in the unimplanted region was also lost. This noteworthy observation can be attributed to the displacement of Fe and Pt atoms from the implantation sites to the unimplanted areas, thereby causing a phase disorder transformation from L1 0 to A1 FePt.