Ferrite-coated magnetic force microscopy (MFM) cantilevers were prepared for the use with a high-frequency MFM (HF-MFM) setup. The ferrite coatings were fabricated by means of radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering directly on the Si surface. Two types of ferrites were employed in this study: NiZnFe2O4 spinel and Co2 Z-type hexaferrite (Ba3Co2Fe24O41, BCFO). The typical thickness of the coatings was 50 nm. For comparison, ferrite samples on (1 0 0) and (1 1 1)-oriented Si substrates (analogous to the surfaces of the cantilevers) were prepared. Successful HF-MFM imaging was performed with both types of cantilevers using harddisk writer poles as samples. The HF-MFM images obtained by ferrite-coated cantilevers evidently reveal more details of the magnetic field distribution of the writer poles up to the GHz range than conventional CoCr-coated MFM cantilevers.
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