We have developed a near-field optical probe that uses a triangular metallic plate with a three-dimensionally tapered apex as a light source for thermally assisted magnetic recording. Numerical analysis using a finite-element method shows that the size of the optical spot generated at the apex is , and the efficiency (defined as the ratio between the power of the optical near field at the surface of the recording medium and that of the incident light) is 15% when the incident light is focused by a lens with a numerical aperture of 0.8. The metallic plate was fabricated on the surface of a quartz slider and used for writing marks on a phase change recording medium. The marks were observed with a scanning electron microscope, and we confirmed that marks with a diameter of were successfully written on the medium.
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