Preparation and Characterization of Magnetic Force Microscopy Tips Coated with Nickel Films by e-Beam Evaporation
In this work, magnetic force microscopy (MFM) tips coated with a nickel thin-film were prepared and characterized for applications in the measurement of the magnetic write field. Nickel films with various thicknesses in a range of 20 – 80 nm were deposited on silicon substrates and silicon atomic force microscopy (AFM) tips by electron beam evaporation. Film surface morphologies and magnetic properties of the coated nickel films were investigated by using AFM and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). The rms roughness increased with the film thickness and was in a range between 0.1 and 0.3 nm. VSM results revealed that the mean coercive field of the nickel films was 20 Oe and there was an increase in the coercivity as the film thickness increased. In addition, the prepared MFM tips were evaluated for the tip response to the dc and ac magnetic field generated from perpendicular write heads. It was found that the MFM tip had the best response to the write field when coated with 60 nm thick nickel film. The coating thickness over 60 nm was inapplicable due to the cantilever bending caused by the film stress.
B. Damrongsak et al., "Preparation and Characterization of Magnetic Force Microscopy Tips Coated with Nickel Films by e-Beam Evaporation", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 765, pp. 3-7, 2018