The nucleation, growth, and microstructure of electroless plated Co‐P and sputtered Co‐Re have been studied and compared to their magnetics. Co‐P starts to nucleate as islands with low nucleation density and high coercivity. The film becomes continuous at a thickness of 300 Å and has a rough surface. Co‐Re, on the other hand, forms solid solutions and shows initial growth of high nucleation density and low coercivity. The superparamagneticlike range of Co‐P is narrower than Co‐Re. The impact of growth mechanism on the signal to noise ratio is analyzed and some recording performance data is presented.

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