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New technique writes at terabit rates on GdFeCo films

Posted: 29 Sep 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ferromagnetic films? magnetization? gadolinium-iron-cobalt?

China researchers have demonstrated a way to record onto ferromagnetic films thirty times faster than today's technologies using laser-assisted ultrafast magnetization reversal dynamics, as reported in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Next-generation high-density storage devices may keep more than 70 times the contents of the entire U.S. Library of Congress on a single discbut only if that data can be written quickly enough. Now, research is gaining ground toward the next-generation of ultra-high-density magneto-optical storage devices that could store more than 6,000Terabits (6petabits) of data on a single 5in disc.

Researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in China have devised a way to record on ferromagnetic films using a laser-assisted ultrafast magnetization reversal dynamics. The technique uses so-called time-resolved polar Kerr spectroscopy combined with an alternating magnetic field strong enough to re-initialize the magnetization state of gadolinium-iron-cobalt (GdFeCo) thin films.

Tianshu Lai, lead author of the article, and his colleagues showed that the magnetization reversal could occur in a sub-nanosecond time scale, implying that next- generation magneto-optical storage devices can realize higher recording densities and ultrafast data writing of up to 1GHz. Such speed is at least thirty times faster than that of present HDDs in computers.

Laser-assisted magnetic recording was demonstrated on a sub-picosecond time scale under a saturated external magnetic field. "We found that the rate of magnetization reversal is proportional to the external magnetic field," says Lai, "and the genuine thermo-magnetic recording should happen within several tens to hundreds of picoseconds when we apply a smaller magnetic field than the coercivity of the recording films."

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