Pushing recording density toward 1TB/in2 and beyond requires a stable head disk magnetic recording system with 3–4nm head disk spacing. Air bearing design strategy with respect to thermally actuated writer / reader elements is investigated in this work. The goal is to significantly increase stability of the head-disk spacing for ultra-low flying height recording systems. Investigations presented in this paper indicate that placement of the air bearing pressure concentration location is an effective approach for achieving flying height stability. Proper placement can reduce the disturbance due to short range interaction forces. It was also found that lower viscosity lubricant systems exhibit less interaction disturbance during contact hysteresis characterization while controlling ambient air pressure.

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