IEEE Transactions on Magnetics

Challenges of the head-disk interface for near contact and contact recording

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As the magnetic recording areal density approaches 10 Gb/in2, the mechanical spacing between the head and the disk is expected to reduce rapidly below 20 nm. This leads to an increase of head-disk interaction which may induce an unacceptable level of interfacial wear. In this study experimental air bearing sliders were designed and fabricated to fly in close proximity or substantial contact with the disk. The durability of the interface decreased with decreasing mechanical clearance. The amount of head and disk wear was determined. The metrology and some of the challenges in maintaining a functional interface are presented. © 1999 IEEE.