Tribological performance of the head-disk interface will have significant impact on the performance and durability of the hard disk drive. A high-speed contact test method has been developed for the purpose of evaluating nanometer-thick lubricant film/carbon overcoats materials on hard-disk surfaces. Four different thickness overcoats were used in high speed contact experiments. High speed contact force was calculated based on the calibration of acoustic emission signal by proposed ball dropping tests. Acoustic emission analysis, frequency spectrum analysis, and surface morphology imaging were used to analyze the deformation and fracture at high speed contacted area. The availability of an experimental technique enables effective screening of different material chemistries and lubricant combinations to improve the level of protection for hard disk technology.

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