Heads & media: Prototype media characterization

Media technology is one of the cornerstones of a tape system. In order to continue to scale the areal recording density of future magnetic tape systems, the media must also be continuously improved [2011-2].

We work together with tape media manufacturers to test and evaluate prototype media in order to help enable the development of media that will meet the requirements of future tape systems.

Much of our current work focuses on the use of tape based on barium ferrite (BaFe) particles, which can be produced using low-cost particulate-coating technologies.

Currently, we are investigating three complementary strategies to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of particulate tape media:

  • Reduced particle volume and improved size control (Figure 1)
  • Perpendicular particle orientation (Figure 2) and
  • Reduced media roughness to reduce magnetic spacing.

TEM images of BaFe particles

Figure 1. TEM images of BaFe particles with a volume of 1600 nm3 on the left, and the metal particles used in LTO5 media with a volume of 4650 nm3 (scale bars 20 nm).

Cross-sectional TEM micrograph

Figure 2. Cross-sectional TEM micrograph of (a) perpendicularly oriented BaFe media and (b) non-oriented BaFe media (scale bars 20 nm).

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