A method of heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) potentially suitable for probe-based storage systems is characterized. In this work, field emission current from a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip is used as the heating source. Pulse voltages of 2-7 V were applied to a CoNi/Pt multilayered film fabricated on either bare silicon or oxidized silicon substrates. Different types of Ir/Pt and W STM tips were used in the experiment. The results show that thermally recorded magnetic marks are formed with a nearly uniform mark size of 170 nm on the film fabricated on bare silicon substrate when the pulse voltage is above a threshold voltage. The mark size becomes 260 nm when they are written on the identical film fabricated on an oxidized silicon substrate. The threshold voltage depends on the material work function of the tip, with W having a threshold voltage about 1 V lower than Pt. A synthesized model, which contains the calculation of the emission current, the simulation of heat transfer during heating, and the study of magnetic domain formation, was introduced to explain experimental results. The simulation agrees well with the experiments. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR)
- High-density perpendicular recording
- Scanning tunneling microscope
- Probe recording
- TST-uSPAM: micro Scanning Probe Array Memory
- TST-SMI: Formerly in EWI-SMI