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High-density magnetic recording : draw with ions

Jacques Ferré et Jean-Pierre Jamet (July 1998)

In the field of information storage on magnetic support, the hard disk presently displays the largest areal density of recording, around 500 megabits/cm². Today’s available industrial techniques should allow to get through the 10 gigabits/cm² by the year 2005. However this limit will be difficult to overtake, because the present technologies imply a certain number of limitations due to the functioning mechanism of bits. A new method, designed and developed by researchers from Orsay and Bagneux, already enables to pass, in laboratory, this barrier. In particular, it utilises an irradiation technique by ion beams, through a convenient mask. So its implementing leads, in the case of magnetic materials, to a technology very similar to the one used for realising semiconducting circuits (the so-called "planar" technology). According to these researchers, the goal of the hundreds of Gbits/cm² is within reach. Besides the materials for magnetic recording, applications to the development of magnetic devices - sensors, memory circuits, etc.- may be envisioned. This method has been patented by the CNRS.

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