Hydrocarbon oil is used to lubricate the spindle motor as well as the pivot actuator arm in current hard disk drives. Previous investigations using molecular dynamics have shown that hydrocarbon oil can contaminate the head-disk interface. In this paper, an experimental study is conducted to investigate the mechanism of hydrocarbon oil contamination on the disk surface using contact angle measurements, atomic force microscopy (AFM), ellipsometry, and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

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