Bit patterned media (BPM) is considered as a revolutionary technology to enable further increase of areal density of magnetic recording beyond 1 Tbits/in2 [1]. Implementing BPM technology, however, significantly increases the complexity of the recording process, but also poses tremendous tribological challenges on the head-disk interface (HDI) [2]. One of the major challenges facing BPM is touchdown detection by thermal flying-height control (TFC), in which a minute heater located near the read/write transducers is used to thermally protrude a small portion of the slider into contact with the disk, and the contact is then detected by directly or indirectly measuring the friction, temperature rise or vibration caused by the contact [3]–[7]. Most recording heads rely on touchdown detection to achieve a desired flying height (FH), which approaches sub-1-nm regime for many of today’s commercial drives. As a result sensitive and accurate touchdown detection is of critical importance for a reliable head-disk interface by reducing contact duration and unnecessary interaction between the slider and the disk. However, the impact of touchdown on the mechanical robustness of the media has not been properly studied.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.