Near-field light assisted magnetic recording head for ultra-high recording capacity
SII is in the process of developing near-field optical transducers that are expected to find applications in next-generation high-capacity storage devices. When light strikes the surface of a material featuring a physical structure smaller than the wavelength of the light, a special type of light, called near-field light, is generated. Near-field light interactions are used to heat a nano-sized area of the recording disk surface while a magnetic field generated by a magnetic pole is applied to the area. The result is data storage densities on the order of several terabits per square inch, more than 10 times current hard disk capacities.
In addition to developing and manufacturing hard disk components such as motors and pivots, SII ceaselessly pursues new applications of its technologies. One example is the development of near-field optical transducers for next-generation high-capacity hard drives.
The figure shows an SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) image of the near-field transducer to be fabricated at the apex surface of a hard disk drive head and a nano-sized thermal spot observed by SII's SThM (Scanning Thermal Microscope). The laser light is focused by a specially designed optical waveguide capable of converting the light spot size. This light is converted to generate a nano-sized thermal spot several orders of magnitude smaller than the light wavelength. This thermal spot can then be used to achieve ultra high density recording.