Current generation of cobalt-oxide-based perpendicular magnetic recording media uses single or dual ruthenium intermediate layers in order to grow crystallographically textured, and magnetically isolated granular media. In this work, the potential advantages of an antiferromagnetic iridium-manganese intermediate layer directly under the recording layer are highlighted. Owing to its close lattice matching with hexagonal cobalt, iridium-manganese which has the L 12, or AuCu3 -type crystal structure, can support the heteroepitaxial growth of the cobalt-based recording layer. In one of the media schemes described here, (111) textured iridium-manganese thin film was grown on 7.5 nm thick ruthenium layer. On the iridium-manganese as segregation layer, the Co-oxide-based magnetic recording layer showed perpendicular texture with Δ θ50 below 4°, coercivity of over 4000 Oe alongside magnetic exchange decoupling, average grain sizes of 6 nm with distributions under 14%, and improved thermal stability. Measurements of the anisotropy constant did not show any significant change and even an IrMn capping layer was observed to improve the thermal stability. The possible mechanisms through which the IrMn layer could affect the thermal stability are hypothesized. The initial layers of the magnetic recording layer on IrMn segregation layers also showed exchange-decoupled and segregated grains, which is unlike that observed on Ru segregation layers. In a second media scheme, (111) textured iridium-manganese thin film was grown on a crystalline soft magnetic underlayer belonging on top of amorphous soft underlayers. In this scheme, partial pinning of the soft underlayer due to exchange-bias interaction with the IrMn layer was observed. This scheme offers the possibility to reduce the intermediate layer thickness, thus improve media writability, and with further optimization, could potentially facilitate the approach toward 1 Tbits/in.2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)