Different types of ferrites are employed in the form of thin films as magnetic coating on cantilevers for magnetic force microscopy (MFM) use. This is especially needed for cantilevers employed in high-frequency MFM (HF-MFM), where stray fields of hard disk recording heads are investigated. Our experiments show that we can operate HF-MFM successfully at carrier frequencies up 2 GHz using such ferrite-coated cantilevers. Thin films of two ferrites, NiZnFe2O4 spinel ferrite and Co2 Z-type hexaferrite (Ba3Co2Fe24O41, BCFO) were prepared by RF sputtering. As a basis for these probes, we employ commercial micromachined silicon cantilevers. Additionally, films on Si (1 0 0) and Si (1 1 1)-oriented substrates with a thickness up to 100 nm were prepared for analysis purposes, enabling the optimization of the sputter process. For a high spatial resolution of MFM, however, thinner magnetic coatings are required. Therefore, the third type, c, was prepared by laser-ablation with a thickness of 30 nm, also directly onto the Si without additional buffer layer.
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