Contact recording is fast becoming an attractive alternative to conventional flying recording heads. For contact recording, a new design philosophy has to be developed based on good understanding of contact dynamics of the head-disk interface. We have developed an integrated approach to understanding these interfaces, where experimental results from friction and laser doppler interferometer measurements are modeled using modified air bearing codes. Important insights gained: 1) smaller contact pad size reduces friction and bounce, 2) rougher disk surfaces have lower friction and contact stiffness, and 3) pitch angle and lubricant lube thickness strongly influence damping of slider motions.

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