Nanostructured magnetic networks: A materials comparison

James L. Weston, Alejandro Butera, Dietmar Otte, John A. Barnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One method to achieve the enhanced coercivity necessary for the next generation of ultra high density recording media is to use a patterned substrate to nanostructure the magnetic material. By sputter-depositing a magnetic film onto the surface of a nanoporous substrate, unique magnetic properties result from the reduced dimension and topography of the film. The resultant "network" film has a coercivity nearly two orders of magnitude higher than a continuous thin film of the same thickness. This increase in coercivity has been attributed primarily to shape anisotropy due to the proportional relationship observed between the coercivity and the moment of the deposited network. To better understand the effect of the shape anisotropy, a number of different classes of magnetic materials of varying moment and magnetocrystalline anisotropy were deposited onto porous templates and compared. In general, these materials show a peak coercivity in the thickness range of 15-20 nm. In this thickness the range a linear relationship between the coercivity and moment is observed confirming the influence of shape anisotropy. A simple model assuming coherent reversal of a magnetized ellipsoid gives a ratio of 1.1 between the short and long axes. This value is significantly smaller than what it is observed by direct imaging. However, if a more realistic model of magnetization reversal is employed (such as fanning) the ratio obtained is in close agreement with the experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-518
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Magnetic anisotropy
  • Magnetic properties
  • Nanostructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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