With the move to recording densities up to and beyond 1 Tb/in/sup 2/, the size of read elements is continually reducing as a requirement of the scaling process. The expectation is for read elements containing magnetic films as thin as 1.5 nm, in which finite size effects, and factors such as interface mixing might be expected to become of increasing importance. Here, we review the limitations of the current (micromagnetic) approach to the theoretical modeling of thin films and develop an atomistic multiscale model capable of investigating the magnetic properties at the atomic level. Finite-size effects are found to be significant, suggesting the need for models beyond the micromagnetic approach to support the development of future read sensors
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