In an array of closely spaced magnetic islands as in patterned media, magnetostatic interactions play a major role in widening the switching field distribution and reducing the thermal stability. Patterned antiferromagnetically coupled (AFC) media provide interesting systems for studying the effect of magnetostatic interactions on the reversal of closely spaced AFC bits in an array, as AFC structure helps to reduce the remanent magnetization (M r), leading to reduced magnetostatic interactions. Here, we study the magnetic reversal of single domain-patterned AFC CoCrPt: oxide bilayer system with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, by imaging the remanence state of the bits after the application of a magnetic field with magnetic force microscopy (MFM). The influence of magnetostatic fields from the neighboring bits on the switching field distribution (SFD) for an entity in a patterned media is studied by varying the stabilizing layer thickness of the AFC structure and bit spacing. We observe a distinct increase in stability and coercivity with an increase in stabilizing layer thickness for the 40 nm spaced bits. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the AFC structure for reducing magnetostatic interactions in patterned media, such that high thermal stability can be achieved by the reduced M r, without writability issues.
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