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This letter presents an experimental study that shows that a 3rd physical dimension may be used to further increase information packing density in magnetic storage devices. We demonstrate the feasibility of at least quadrupling the magnetic states of magnetic-based data storage devices by recording and reading information from nanopillars with three magnetically-decoupled layers. Magneto-optical Kerr effect microscopy and magnetic force microscopy analysis show that both continuous (thin film) and patterned triple-stack magnetic media can generate eight magnetically-stable states. This is in comparison to only two states in conventional magnetic recording. Our work further reveals that ferromagnetic interaction between magnetic layers can be reduced by combining Co/Pt and Co/Pd multilayers media. Finally, we are showing for the first time an MFM image of multilevel-3D bit patterned media with 8 discrete signal levels.


Originally published in PLoS One.

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