The magneto-optical (MO) layer in current rare earth-transition metal (RE-TM) based MO recording media is typically 20 nm to 60 nm thick. It has been suggested, however, that media structures employing a multiplicity of thinner MO layers may be advantageous, e.g., for multilevel recording applications  or media noise reduction . As magnetic layer thickness is reduced, interactions among magnetic layers and adjacent materials can have an increasingly large influence on magnetic properties; in many instances, these interactions can dominate the observed magnetic behavior.
As a means of studying MO layer - adjacent layer interactions, we have used thin (≈3 nm) films of several materials to separate single 24 nm thick ion-beam-deposited FeTbCo layers into N thinner layers of 24/N nm thickness (N × 24/N). As N increases, the FeThCo magnetic properties generally change; however, the relative magnitude of the changes is strongly dependent upon the adjacent layer composition. Magnetization (Ms), energy product (MsHc) at 30 C and Curie temperature data for 1 × 24 nm structures and 6 × 4 nm structures are compared and discussed for specimens employing SiCx, Six, YOx, HfOx, Si and SiOx adjacent layer materials.