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May 10, 2010

Plasmonic nano-antenna for future higher density hard drives

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Plasmonic nano-antennas could increase hard drive densities to ten terabits (Tb) per square inch. The write speed obtained by the researchers was 250 megabits per second. The researchers only worked with one terabit per square inch densities but believe 10 terabits per square inch is possible. The technique combines two already-established recording methods, thermally-assisted magnetic (TAR) and bit-patterned recording (BPR).

Nature Photonics - Magnetic recording at 1.5 Pb m−2 using an integrated plasmonic antenna

Plasmonic devices are capable of efficiently confining and enhancing optical fields, serving as a bridge between the realm of diffraction-limited optics and the nanoscale. Specifically, a plasmonic device can be used to locally heat a recording medium for data storage. Ideally, the recording medium would consist of individually addressable and non-interacting entities, a configuration that has been regarded as the ultimate future hard-drive technology. Here, we describe a plasmonic nano-antenna that is fully integrated into a magnetic recording head and its use for thermally assisted magnetic recording on both continuous and fully-ordered patterned media using nanosecond pulses in a static tester configuration. In the case of patterned media at 1.5 Pb m−2 (~1 Tb inch−2) with 24-nm track pitch, we show ideally written bits without disturbing neighbouring tracks. We find a dramatic improvement in track width and optical efficiency compared to continuous media and show that this is largely due to advantageous near-field optical effects.


5 pages of supplemental information

Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording and Bit Patterned Recording

Heat-assisted magnetic recording, or HAMR, promises to allow a switch to materials that are more stable than cobalt alloys and can hold magnetization in spots just a few nanometers across. HAMR and bit patterned recording has the potential to allow up to 50 Tb per square inch. This would be 37.5 TB hard 3.5 inch drives.

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