An SmCo5 alloy is a promising candidate for ultra-high density magnetic recording media because of its strong uniaxial magnetocrystalline anisotropy, whose constant, Ku, is more than 1.1×108 erg/cm3. Recently, we successfully obtained high perpendicular magnetic anisotropy for a sputter-deposited SmCo5 thin film by introducing a Cu/Ti dual underlayer. However, it is necessary to improve magnetic properties and read/write (R/W) characteristics for applying SmCo5 thin films to perpendicular magnetic recording media. In this study, we focused on reduction of magnetic domain size and change of a magnetization reversal process of SmCo5 perpendicular magnetic thin films by introducing carbon (C) atoms into the constituent Cu underlayer. The magnetic domain size became small and the ratio of coercivity (Hc) against magnetic anisotropy (Hk) which is an index of the magnetization reversal process was increased by adding C atoms. We also evaluated the R/W characteristics of SmCo5 double-layered media including C atoms. The medium noise was decreased and signal-to-noise ratio increased by introducing the C. The addition of C into the Cu underlayer is effective for changing the magnetization reversal process, reducing medium noise and increasing SNR.
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