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Etched Step in lieu of Taper on Sliders

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115791D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 51K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chhabra, DS: AUTHOR

Abstract

The taper (or ramp) used for air compression at the leading end of a slider can be replaced with an etched step as shown in the Figure. This results in improved fly height control and, in certain designs, can also be a lower cost process.

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Etched Step in lieu of Taper on Sliders

      The taper (or ramp) used for air compression at the leading end
of a slider can be replaced with an etched step as shown in the
Figure.  This results in improved fly height control and, in certain
designs, can also be a lower cost process.

      The slider designs most commonly used in the disk drives are
taper-flat, that is, they use a taper (sometimes called ramp) for air
compression at the leading end.  The length and angle of the taper
affect the fly height and therefore need to be controlled to meet the
fly height requirements.  As the slider size is reduced (nano, pico,
sub-pico, etc.), it becomes difficult to control the taper length and
angle to the required tolerances resulting in significant yield loss
for this process.

      A step at the leading end can perform the same function as the
taper with respect to the air bearing performance and, therefore, can
be used to replace the taper in the slider manufacturing process.
Further, an etched step is preferred over a deposited step because it
is easier to manufacture.  A number of processes are available to
define the step, for example, reactive ion etching, ion milling,
laser etching, ultrasonic machining, etc.  By using any of these
processes, the length of the step can be controlled significantly
tighter than what is generally possible for the taper length.

      The needed etch depth for the step is less than one micron.
The optimum etch depth...