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Fabrication of self-aligned side-by-side read/write head by using selective dry etching Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013530D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 37K

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Main Idea

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  Fabrication of self-aligned side-by-side read/write head by using selective dry etching

Main Idea

One problem associated with recording head fabrication is the alignment of the
throat of a write head and the stripe of a read sensor since they are
separated by several layers and are defined by different photo steps. Building
read and write head side by side offers the possibility of defining the read
sensor stripe and write throat simultaneously. However, the requirement for
patterning (usually milling) is different. While write head throat requires a
depth of 2000 angstrom or more, read sensor milling only needs 200 - 300
angstrom of milling. Defining stripe and throat with the same milling process
would therefore result in gross overmill of the read sensor area, leading to
sensor-to-shield short due to complete loss of gap 1 and redeposition, as
shown in Figure 1.

Figure 2 shows the disclosed method. Structurewise, the first shield and the
first pole piece are shared. Gap 1 and sensor are deposited over S1. An etch
stop layer such as carbon is then deposited over the sensor area. Next, a
photolithography step using a mask with throat and stripe aligned is
conducted. Then the patterned structure is subject to ion milling to define
the write throat. In the read sensor area, since the milling rate of carbon is
several times slower than that of NiFe, the thin carbon layer will not be
consumed completely during throat definition. Upon the completion of throat
milling, with the resist...