Vapor phase lubrication (VPL) integrates media lubrication with the vacuum processing steps used throughout most of the hard disk media fabrication process. This avoids exposure of the unlubricated hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-CHx) overcoat to the ambient air and airborne contamination. In vapor lubrication the a-CHx surface can be oxidized under controlled conditions immediately prior to lubricant adsorption. The interaction between lubricants and a-CHx films can be tailored by controlled oxidation of the a-CHx in vapor phase lubrication.

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