Date of this Version
The technique of "field sweep-rate dependence of coercivity" together with the delta-M curves, transmission electron microscopy, and media noise measurement have been employed to reveal the correlation among the magnetic switching volume, physical grain size, intergrain interaction, and noise properties. The switching volume for both CoCrTa and CoCrPtTa films was found to be ~ 15 nm in diameter, and weakly dependent on grain size and coercivity for the systems studied. In films with physical grain size larger than the switching volume, strong intergrain interaction and high media noise is observed. In films with the physical grain size close to the switching volume, smaller interactions and lower media noise is found. It is argued that a change of the grain size results in a change in the nature of the magnetic interactions.