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Sidewall Process for Horizontal/Planar Magnetic Heads

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118591D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 88K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fontana Jr, RE: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Horizontal or planar thin film heads are categories of a magnetic recording head in which the air-bearing surface of the head is fabricated on a plane parallel to the wafer substrate. As a result, the gap of the thin film head is perpendicular to the substrate surface.

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Sidewall Process for Horizontal/Planar Magnetic Heads

      Horizontal or planar thin film heads are categories of a
magnetic recording head in which the air-bearing surface of the head
is fabricated on a plane parallel to the wafer substrate.  As a
result, the gap of the thin film head is perpendicular to the
substrate surface.

      A planar head structure is illustrated in Fig. 1.  A typical
gap height can be 3&mu.m to 5&mu.m with widths of 0.1&mu.m to
0.3&mu.m.  The fabrication of gaps for the planar head have used
conformal coating of sidewall material, usually SiO(2), on the
outside perimeter of shaped material regions, the shaped material
subsequently being removed by anisotropic RIE steps which leave only
the conforming  sidewall material.  This is illustrated in Fig. 2.
One limitation of this process is that the control of the sidewall
dimension is difficult  since the width depends not only on the
degree of conformal coating onto  a side surface but also on the
degree of anisotropic removal of the same  material when the free
standing structure is formed.  A second limitation  of this process
approach is that the resulting sidewall is thinner at the  top and
the bottom because of the conformal characteristics of SiO(2)
deposition processing.  This width variation affects both the
resolution characteristics of the head structure and contributes to
the mechanical  weakness of the sidewall.  A third limitation deals
with the geometry of the sidewall which conforms around a perimeter
shape and thus does not allow for any "end" supp...