November 1st 2016
Hard disk manufacturing requires high levels of precision at nanometer scale for the production of a repeatable product with high memory density. Because hard disks are dependent upon magnetic properties to read and write to each memory unit, the disk has a layered structure comprised of magnetic and nonmagnetic materials. Over the last two decades, extensive work has been done by hard disk manufacturers to reduce grain size, which enables smaller, but consistent magnetic domain sizes and distinct boundaries. This movement toward tighter anufacturing tolerances requires advanced techniques for characterization. Compositional depth profiling with GD-AES enables precise
characterization of the size of these thin layers of material.