MRS Bulletin

Technical Feature

Technical Feature

Patterned Magnetic Media Made by Self-Assembled Block-Copolymer Lithography

C.A. Ross and J.Y. Cheng


Patterned magnetic recording media, in which data bits are stored in discrete single-domain magnetic particles, have been proposed for the next generation of recording media. To achieve high densities, features with periodicities on the order of 25 nm and below are required over large areas, which is a challenging task for any lithography process. Block copolymers (BCPs), which phase-separate into ordered periodic nanoscale structures, might provide a path to accomplish such patterning. In this article, we describe BCP lithography and show how the self-assembled patterns can be templated to make large-area arrays of nanoscale structures with long-range order.

Caroline A. Ross is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massaachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She completed a PhD degree at Cambridge University and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Prior to joining MIT in 1997, Ross worked as an engineer at Komag, a hard-disk manufacturer in San Jose, California. Ross' research interests include the fabrication and properties of magnetic nanostructures, magnetoresistive devices for memory and logic applications, and templated self-assembly for nanolighography applications.

Joy Y. Cheng can be reached at IBM Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Rd., San Jose, CA 95120, USA; tel. 408-927-1003, fax 408-927-3310, and e-mail

Cheng is a member of the research staff at the IBM Almaden Research Center in the Lithography Materials Group. She completed her PhD degree and postdoctoral research in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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