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Magnetic Disk with a SiC:H Overcoat Sputtered in Methane and Argon Mixed Gas

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115970D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hwang, C: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

The overcoat of a thin film magnetic disk plays an important role in protecting the magnetic media from mechanical wear and environmental corrosion. However, since it increases the separation between disk and head, its thickness needs to be minimized to reduce the spacing loss. Currently, a carbon film formed either by reactive sputtering in Ar and H2 or simply in pure Ar is the dominant overcoat for thin film disks. This carbon overcoat works well in the thickness range of 15nm to 20nm. However, its performance degrades drastically when the thickness falls below 10nm.

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Magnetic Disk with a SiC:H Overcoat Sputtered in Methane and Argon
Mixed Gas

      The overcoat of a thin film magnetic disk plays an important
role in protecting the magnetic media from mechanical wear and
environmental corrosion.  However, since it increases the separation
between disk and head, its thickness needs to be minimized to reduce
the spacing loss.  Currently, a carbon film formed either by reactive
sputtering in Ar and H2 or simply in pure Ar is the dominant overcoat
for thin film disks.  This carbon overcoat works well in the
thickness range of 15nm to 20nm.  However, its performance degrades
drastically when the thickness falls below 10nm.

      A SiC:H overcoat is prepared by either DC or RF sputtering of a
SiC target in a mixture of Ar and CH4.  The role of Si in the film is
to enhance the mechanical strength of the film, improve the
bondability of the lube to the overcoat, and improve adhesion between
the overcoat and the magnetic layer.  The film composition can be
adjusted by varying process conditions.  The results below were
obtained using films with 49-57 at% carbon, 5-18 at% Si and the
balance hydrogen.

      The mechanical durability of this overcoat, as measured by
Contact Start Stop (CSS) tests, is superior to C:H in the thickness
range of 7.5 to 15nm.  This SiC:H overcoat, since it incorporates
both C and H from gaseous CH4 molecules, consists of some CVD
component which has better coating conformity.  As a result, this
fil...