Methods of patterning magnetic thin films with block copolymer templating
Increasing the areal density of magnetic hard disk drives has drawn considerable research interest in the last several years. Industry expects that the upper limit of areal density of current granular media storage methods is reached when the grain size becomes small enough to begin losing thermal stability. In this dissertation, we examined methods to fabricate a patterned media that will achieve high areal density without sacrificing thermal stability. We first examined using different block copolymers to template a pattern onto a magnetic thin film. We then tried to improve the patterning and size tuning the nanospheres using different methods of processing the block copolymer. We further examined using the block copolymers to fabricate a hard mask with different materials, and we examined using a powerful method to examine the switching behavior of the patterned magnetic films.