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Dimple/ Air Bearing Surface Alignment Process

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107782D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 115K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Brooks WW, Jr: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is an invention which helps to minimize the tolerance between the slider air bearing surface (ABS) and the suspension load dimple. The invention consists of a means of generating the dimple- locating feature on the back of the slider such that there is virtually no misalignment between the dimple and the ABS.

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Dimple/ Air Bearing Surface Alignment Process

       Disclosed is an invention which helps to minimize the
tolerance between the slider air bearing surface (ABS) and the
suspension load dimple.  The invention consists of a means of
generating the dimple- locating feature on the back of the slider
such that there is virtually no misalignment between the dimple and
the ABS.

      The air bearing surface on many of the currently manufactured
thin film sliders is generated through the use of a reactive ion etch
(RIE).  Using this process, features can be made with very good
locational tolerances with respect to each other, since all of these
features come from a single, photographically-reduced etch master.

      This same basic technique is widely used in the metal etching
industry, such as is used for suspension component manufacturing, but
there the technique is taken one step further.  The etching is
performed from both sides of a metal sheet to obtain good clean
square edges on the part. To accomplish this, the etch master is made
double-sided, with essentially zero alignment error between the two
sides. The double-sided etch master starts out in two parts, two flat
glass sheets with hard chrome plating on one side of each, then
subsequently photo-etched to the desired pattern.

      The key to the low alignment tolerances is the process used to
make the master.  The first thing that is done is that one side of
the etch master is exposed and then photo-etched.  Any flaws in this
half of the etch master would be corrected before proceeding.  The
second half of the etch master is then made from the first half of
the etch master.  First, both halves are bonded to very thin metal
sheets on one edge, and the two parts are then fastened together by a
line joint on the far edge of these thin metal "hinges."  The hinge
has to be flexible enough to allow the parts to be placed between the
two halves of the etch master without rubbing contact on either hard
chrome etching pattern.  By construction, the hinge is very stiff to
be able to resist mask-to-mask misalignment.  Once the hinge is made,
the second etch master is exposed from the first etch master, with
the result being that the two are virtually perfect copies of each
other.

      This nor...