Helping Solve Processing and Materials  Problems using Scanning Probe Microscopy since 1990.

CD stamper bumps, perspective view


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: Applications of AFM and STM
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:Gallery of interesting images



Bit Jitter

To put more data on a disk, you must decrease bit spacing.  Good media can record closely-spaced bits accurately, with adequate signal strength and without excessive intersymbol interference.  Bit position and amplitude Jitter are fundamental sources of analog noise and digital errors.  Now you can analyze Magnetic Force Microscope (MFM) images to obtain jitter measurements without interference from cross-talk and other read head limitations.

MFM image of test pattern on magnetic media.
MFM image of a constant frequency test pattern on a hard
disk.  The Magnetic Force Microscope senses the magnetic
field just above the disk surface.  15 micron scan.

Measurement of bit spacing in MFM image
Measurement of bit amplitude (difference in magnetic field strength) in MFM image.

Bit position and amplitude measurements from 1 MFM image.  In a constant frequency test pattern, the bits ideally have equal amplitude and spacing.  Variation is a measure of media noise and other micromagnetic characteristics.  Amplitude and position variation increase with frequency (bit density). These results are tools used by disk engineers to set the maximum bit density.


updated 05/25/2017


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