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New ETALON series AFM probes with CoFe coating for ultra-high-resolution MFM


NT-MDT is pleased to offer their customers new polysilicon ETALON AFM probes with CoFe coating for high-resolution magnetic force microscopy (http://www.ntmdt-tips.com/products/group/magnetic). These probes combine the advantages of ETALON series and excellent characteristics of the new CoFe coating:

  • Ultra sharp tip with the new highly sensitive magnetic coating (curvature radius less than 30 nm);
  • Resonance frequency and force constant specified with high accuracy (10% and 20% respectively);
  • Two levers on one chip;
  • Special chip geometry for convenient operating;
  • High aspect ratio tip;
  • Enhanced back-side reflection of the cantilever;

The new type of magnetic coating allowed decreasing of the tip radius down to 30 nm. Together with high sensitivity of coating’s magnetic domains this makes ETALON CoFe probes ideal for high-resolution MFM imaging.

To demonstrate excellent characteristics of the new CoFe coating, amplitude-modulation magnetic force microscopy (AC-MFM) measurements of a modern high-density HDD were performed recently by our application engineer. According to the known single domain size the lateral resolution of magnetic images was assumed to be at least 30 nm. Below you may find the scans obtained and the cross-sections used for estimation of the resolution.

It is noteworthy that such detailed images allowed our engineers to recognize sectors of different functionality of the hard disk investigated (which are mentioned on scans’ captures). 

AC-MFM image of servo sector of
high-density hard disk drive
Scan size: 10×10 μm2 (with 5 nm step)
Section size: 2,5 μm

AC-MFM image of user data sector of
high-density hard disk drive
Scan size: 8×8 μm(with 5 nm step)
Section size: 2,5 μm (section of AGC preamble area)

Another feature of our new magnetic probes of HA-series is their repeatable parameters of bulk’s and tip’s geometry. Below you may find a table that compares ETALON polysilicon probes and other standard probes made of silicon.

Parameters ETALON MFM probes Silicon MFM probes
 Thickness dispersion of the cantilever ± 0.15 µm ± 0.5 µm
 Length dispersion of the cantilever ± 2 µm ± 10 µm
 Resonant frequency dispersion ± 10% till ± 100%

We believe that a better stability and a good MFM contrast shown by CoFe-covered probes during test measurements makes them to be promising ones for future high-accuracy investigations in different fields.

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