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A Simple Method for Texturing Slider Surfaces for Reducing Bounce at Contacting Head-Disk Interfaces inside of Disk Drives

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000100681D
Publication Date: 2005-Mar-16
Document File: 5 page(s) / 677K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In this invention we present a simple method for increasing the surface roughness of magnetic heads for reduced bounce in contacting head-disk interfaces.

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  A Simple Method for Texturing Slider Surfaces for Reducing Bounce at Contacting Head-Disk Interfaces inside of Disk Drives

  In order to increase the areal density in magnetic disk drives the separation between magnetic read write head and magnetic disk needs to be reduced further and further. With the latest generation of hard drives designed to have a flight height (physical separation between head and disk when the disk is spinning) less than 10 nm, it is inevitable that future drives will be designed such that the head and disk will be running in either partial or continuous contact. Typically in disk drives, the electromagnetic head containing the read-write element is integrated into a carrier known as the slider. This slider mechanically supports the head, and is aerodynamically shaped to allow the head to precisely glide over the spinning disk. This shape is also known as the air bearing surface (ABS). In the case of contact recording, the slider is designed such that the head, instead of flying, is continuously touching the magnetic disk. Typically, the slider is made up of a TiC-Al2O3 alloy and the magnetic read write head is comprised of a giant magneto-resistance (GMR) read element and an inductive write element located at the trailing edge of the slider. A major problem for contacting head-disk interfaces is slider bounce, where the amplitude of oscillation of the trailing edge of the slider is so large that it sends a significant fraction of each oscillation cycle out of contact with the disk surface, leading to degraded recording performance. Previous studies have shown that slider bounce can be reduced by several means:

Increasing slider and/or disk roughness


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    A prior art particularly relevant to our invention is that of Xu et al [*] where they used an argon-ion etch process to preferentially sputter Al203 from N58 to increase the roughness of the ABS surface and where they showed that this roughness greatly reduces slider bounce for contacting slider-disk interfaces. Rather than etching Al2O3, it would be more desirable to etch TiC from the N58 to increase roughness for the following reasons:

To preserve the Al2O3 around the recording head in the deposited end structure.


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Decreasing the size of the contact pad

Decreasing the amount of free lubricant

To reduce or eliminate the protrusion of TiC particles, which being harder than Al203

particles are more likely to damage the disk during contact.

To reduce the probability of producing a detached TiC particle from the slider and

causing a scratch at the slider-disk interface. This mechanism is known to lead to catastrophic drive failure and data loss.

    In this disclosure we present a simple and effective method for texturing the surface of magnetic heads...