A cylindrical probe with almost perfectly flat plateaulike surface was focused ion beam (FIB) milled from an atomic force microscopy probe in order to create the required surface conditions for thin film deposition with finely controlled deposition/growth parameters. A composition of Pd(5 nm)/MgO(8 nm)/FePt(10 nm)/MgO(8 nm) was sputter deposited on the plateau probe, followed by deposition of a Pd (5 nm) protective layer. The plateau probe was then FIB-milled to produce a tip with a curvature radius of ∼25 nm. After annealing the probe at 650 °C for ∼15 min to generate an ultrahigh anisotropy L 10 phase, magnetic force microscopy (MFM) imaging was performed with the probe on magnetic tracks with linear densities ranging from 200 to 1200 KFCI. The results show sub-20-nm lateral resolution in ambient conditions and magnetic tracks, which are otherwise invisible to standard MFM probes, are clearly evident with the FIB-fabricated FePt probe. With relatively high spatial resolution and coercivity values higher than 1 T, among other applications, this type of probe may be ideal for high-quality MFM study of next-generation recording media.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)