Non-contaminating Air Bearing Magnetic Head Slider
Original Publication Date: 2000-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
In a magnetic disk file, the read/write transducer is mounted on an mechanical air bearing 'slider'. The air bearing is designed to fly in extremely close proximity to the disk surface. The slider may be prone to shedding debris particles large enough to cause contact or other interference between the rotating disk and air bearing slider. This can lead to damage of the disk surface, creating additional debris, and eventual data loss, or destruction of the entire disk surface. Disclosed here a process by which the shedding of debris particles from the air bearing slider may be eliminated. This will result in improved disk drive reliability and allow disk drives with reduced head disk spacings to be achieved. After being separated from a wafer, the surfaces of an air bearing slider are treated in such a manner to eliminate loose debris particles from detaching from the suface. This treatment can include depositing material from a vapor phase onto the air bearing surfaces, which can then be polymerized to form a coating 0.01um to 5 um thickness, effectively sealing the surface, and preventing future debris shedding. In another embodiment, the surface may be passivated by heat treatment, annealing, localized microwave or light radiation causing loose particles to re-flow onto the suface or otherwise be permanently attached to the surface. The surface may also be treated by immersing the air bearing slider into a liquid with sufficient surface wetting of the air bearing to leave a surface coating which may be dried or cured to seal particles which then cannot later detach from the surface.