Particle contamination on a slider in a hard disk drive (HDD) affects the HDD’s reliability. With the introduction of the thermal flying-height control (TFC) slider, the temperature in the head-disk interface (HDI) becomes non-uniform, which induces a temperature-gradient dependent force on particles moving in the HDI. This paper investigates the effect of this force, the so called thermophoretic force, on a particle’s motion in the HDI as well as its effect on particle contamination on the TFC slider. By numerical simulation of the particle’s trajectory together with an analytical analysis, we show that the thermophoretic force is always negligible compared to the Saffman lift force, which points to a direction parallel to the thermophoretic force. We conclude that the current particle contamination simulator without any thermophoretic forces included would not be significantly altered by the inclusion of these forces.

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