During the past decade, magnetic recording density of HDD has doubled almost every 18 months. To keep increasing the recording density, there is a need to make the small bits thermally stable. The most recent method using perpendicular recording media (PMR) will lose its fuel in a few years time and alternatives are sought. Patterned media, where the bits are magnetically separated from each other, offer the possibility to solve many issues encountered by PMR technology. However, implementation of patterned media would involve developing processing methods which offer high resolution (small bits), regular patterns, and high density. All these need to be achieved without sacrificing a high throughput and low cost. In this article, we review some of the ideas that have been proposed in this subject. However, the focus of the paper is on nano-imprint lithography (NIL) as it fulfills most of the needs of HDD as compared to conventional lithography using electron beam, EUV or X-Rays. The latest development of NIL and related technologies and their future prospects for patterned media are also discussed.
Keywords: Media, magnetic recordings, lithography method, hard disk drives (HDD), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), nano fabrication, conventional, lithography, optical lithography, X-rays
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