The high-temperature stability of disk lubricants has attracted a lot of interest in recent years because smaller head-media spacing may cause head-media contact and thus a local temperature rise. At elevated temperatures, the lubricant may either evaporate or decompose, leading to the eventual failure of the head-media interface. The decomposition might result from heating and/or may be catalyzed by the presence of a Lewis acid site at the head-disk interface (HDI). In this paper, we study how the chemical structure, namely, molecular weight (MW) and end-groups (see Fig. 1), of disk lubricants will affect the thermal and Lewis-acid catalyzed decomposition of the lubricant.

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