A transmission electron microscope (TEM) based orientation mapping technique and micromagnetic simulations were applied to study the influence of easy axis distribution (EAD) on magnetic properties of FePt-C granular films which were deposited on a single crystalline MgO (0 0 1) substrate and a (0 0 1)-textured poly-crystalline MgO underlayer. The FePt-C film on the polycrystalline MgO underlayer shows smaller perpendicular coercivity, broader switching field distribution and visible in-plane minor loop compared with that deposited on the single crystalline MgO (0 0 1) substrate. Although the grain sizes and their distributions in both films look similar in TEM, orientation mapping and texture analysis revealed that the polycrystalline MgO underlayer introduces significant misorientation in the (0 0 1)-textured FePt grains. Micromagnetic simulations successfully reproduced the large hysteresis in the in-plane magnetization by introducing the specific misorientation distribution of the FePt grains obtained from the texture analysis. The misoriented FePt grains were found to be grown from misoriented MgO grains, indicating that the improvement of the (0 0 1) texture of the MgO underlayer is essential to reduce the in-plane component of FePt based recording media.
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