We have conducted a thorough experimental analysis of nano-aperture VCSELs for use in heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to both explore the impact of magnetic media proximity on VCSEL aperture power throughput and to use statistical methods to simultaneously characterize thousands of aperture designs. To achieve areal recording densities beyond 1 Tb/in2, high anisotropy magnetic materials are required to overcome the super-paramagnetic effect. These require high switching fields which are not conventionally available. Heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) is a potential technology to reduce the coercivity of the media and thus the required switching field by localized heating to enable writing of bits. The challenges being faced by this technology are to develop a precise method of delivering light to a very small, sub wavelength bit area with sufficient power through a near field aperture, and the fabrication of a laser source which can be integrated with current write heads used in hard disk drives. The focus of our work is to characterize nano-aperture VCSELs and test their potential application to HAMR. We have fabricated 850 nm VCSELs with large arrays of differently shaped nano-apertures in the gold layer on top of each VCSEL. The focusing and transmission characteristics of differently shaped nano-apertures are compared by simulations and experiments. C-shaped and H-shaped nano-apertures have also been fabricated in a gold layer deposited on a SiO2 substrate to observe the effect of close proximity of magnetic media (FePt) on the performance of nano-apertures, and polarization effects have also been characterized.
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Sajid Hussain ; Shreya Kundu ; C. S. Bhatia ; Hyunsoo Yang and Aaron J. Danner
Heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) with nano-aperture VCSELs for 10 Tb/in2 magnetic storage density
", Proc. SPIE 8639, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XVII, 863909 (March 13, 2013); doi:10.1117/12.2002782; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2002782