The correlation between the magnetic properties and microstructure of electroless-plated CoNiP perpendicular magnetic recording media was investigated. By adjusting the plating bath factors, the perpendicular coercivity of the film can be controlled to up to 1500 Oe without changing the saturation magnetization Ms and the shapes of the M-H loops. Reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) analysis showed that these films consist of mixtures of <002> perpendicularly oriented HCP structure regions and FCC regions without an obvious crystal orientation. The increase in the proportion of the <002>-oriented HCP region in such films results in higher coercivity values. Film with the maximum coercivity of 1500 Oe consisted almost entirely of a <002>-oriented HCP crystal region. It was also clarified that, in the initial growth stage, these films show a low coercivity and consist of fine crystallites with low crystal orientation.
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