We have demonstrated hybrid recording on magnetic bit-patterned media by a near-field optical head with plasmon probe. The near-field plasmon probe "nanobeak" that uses a triangular metallic plate with a three-dimensionally tapered apex can provide a highly efficient optical spot as small as 16 nm x 20 nm. The bit-patterned media consist of a Co (0.3 nm)/Pd (0.7 nm) multilayer of 20-nm-thick magnetic nanodots each with a diameter of 20 nm and a period of 30 nm. We confirmed magnetic single-dot recording on the Co/Pd bit-patterned media. Hybrid recording simulation results suggest that hybrid recording on bit-patterned media can achieve significant data-density recording, even when the magnetic dot size is less than 5 nm. For practical use, we made a prototype of nanodot circularly aligned Co/Pd bit-patterned media, and also demonstrated light delivery method using either solid immersion optics or an optical fiber.
Near-field optics is one of super-resolution techniques for future data storage system. We have already proposed a near-field optical flying head with a circular aperture. Realizing higher performance aperture, we also have developed a triangular one which has been experimentally evaluated with scanning near-field optical microscope probe. In this paper, we demonstrate readout performance of this novel aperture mounted near-field head introducing polarization control. In order to scan over a media surface at small spacing condition, we fabricate a "contact" type head having contact pads and a polarization maintaining fiber, because this type of an aperture can only effectively function on condition both of extremely small spacing and applying polarized light. The contact pads and the tip are formed by photolithography with hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution. An aluminum film is formed on the tip. The aperture is formed by squeezing the shading film. Measurement of surface configuration by an interferometer shows that the aperture and the contact pads are almost on the same plane within 5 nm deviation. The media consists of a glass substrate, a titanium layer, a carbon protective layer, and a lubricant layer in sequence. Line-and-space (L&S) patterns whose width are 40~200nm are formed on the titanium layer. The contact head approaches the media surface, and then the media is scanned by a piezo stage. The near-field light generate from the triangular aperture is scattered by the L&S pattern and detected by a photomultiplier tube. Signal readout from the 40-nm-wide L&S pattern is demonstrated.
Recent rapid progress in a digital network society necessitates storage devices with higher-density and faster transfer rates. In optical storage, a novel recording principle is eagerly awaited that will drastically improve recording density without being restricted by a wavelength shortening limit or a numerical aperture (N.A.) limit of the optics utilized. Storage based on the "near-field" principle is thought to be one of the most promising breakthroughs for overcoming various tough limitations governing traditional optical recording. From this perspective, we have already proposed an
integrated optical head slider assembly that relies on the novel near-field principle for its operation; it is mounted on a minute tapered aperture and has a planar focusing lens and a micro silicon mirror. Readout signals corresponding to a 200-nm-long bit have demonstrated a frequency band up to approximately 10 MHz, using a chromium patterned medium. In this study, we have investigated a tribological (glide height) property and flying stability of a miniaturized
1.5-mm-long optical head slider by using acoustic emission sensor signal and readout signal from the medium. We have also evaluated detecting performance separately using traditional 3.2-mm-long slider and a chromium patterned medium whose bit patterns are accurately scored with bit lengths less than 100 nm using electron beam lithography including reactive ion etching. We have confirmed stable flying performance of 1.5-mm-long slider assembly and furthermore,
ability of detecting sub-100-nm long bit patterns.
Advances in a digital network society require both higher densities and higher transfer rates in all sorts of storage devices. In optical recording, the trend toward higher recording density and larger storage capacity requires novel surface recording technologies that would drastically improve recording density. To satisfy these severe requirements, we have already proposed a compact integrated optical head slider assembly for proximity optical recording based on the "near field principle". Using the optical head slider, we have successfully demonstrated readout signals from 200 to 150-nm-long bit patterns at frequency bands up to approximately 10 MHz. However, from the practical point of view, it is quite necessary to evaluate readout signals from patterns of smaller (sub-micron to sub-sub-micron) track width in order to prove high-density recording potential. In this paper, we have investigated tracking accuracy characteristics utilizing sub-micron sized alternate patterns of 1-mm length formed in a straight line in the circumferential direction of the medium. Arranging precisely the head's relative position to these recorded patterns, we have successfully obtained readout signals just crossing the sub-micron line-and-space pattern's boundaries. Assuming that an aperture runs along an accurate trajectory of the arc of a circle, readout signal amplitude variations when crossing the pattern edge at a right angle have precisely predicted. Also, the influences of track width on maximum readout signal intensity and tracking sensitivity are discussed in detail.