Patterned magnetic materials have become the optimal choice for the next generation of data storage in both computer hard disks and random access memory (RAM) devices. A variety of techniques is being explored within the industry to optimize their performance and effectiveness. This opportunity to develop new methods to fabricate these materials has catalyzed an active and growing collaboration at Memorial University that draws from expertise in three distinct areas: electrochemical production of materials, self-assembly of patterned materials, and computer simulations of magnetic material properties.
We have demonstrated a promising new avenue for preparing patterned magnetic materials by pairing exceptionally fast and economical materials synthesis techniques. The resulting patterned materials exhibit complex shapes, and we propose that they may offer advantages for retaining high integrity data storage even as device dimensions shrink. The most important step linking our materials synthesis with data storage applications is magnetic response characterization. For this, we will use new research instrumentation: a vibrating sample magnetometer. When coupled with micromagnetics simulations, this tool will enable us to establish and understand important relationships between our new fabrication technique and magnetic device performance. These findings will be important to those in the fields of physics and engineering, and improved magnetic data storage devices will benefit consumers as well as the communications and computing industries in Canada and abroad.