Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

July 1998


Published by IEEE; IEEE Trans. Mag. 34, 1534 (1998). ©1998 IEEE. Permission to use.


We report a systematic study of activation volumes and their correlation with physical grain sizes and thermal stability in CoCrPt media fabricated by magnetron sputtering. Different underlayers and CoCrPt layer thicknesses were used to provide a range of lateral grain sizes, MIδ (product of remanence MI and film thickness δ) values, and remanence coercivities. Two methods, namely the field-sweep-rate dependence of coercivity and measurements of magnetic viscosity and irreversible susceptibility, were used to determine the activation volumes and the results obtained from the two methods are in reasonable agreement. For CoCrPt layer thickness from 10 nm to 27 nm, the activation volumes of these films range from about 3x10-18 cm3 to 5X IO-18 cm 3, which indicate that these films are thermally stable. Furthermore, for most samples the activation volumes are close to the volumes of the physical CoCrPt grains. This suggests that the magnetic grains in these films switch almost independently. Films with physical grain sizes small enough to approach thermal instability are also discussed.

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