This paper presents a new theoretical approach to the dynamic contact behavior and tracking characteristics of a contact slider that is one of the candidates of head design for future high density magnetic recording disk storages. A slider and its suspension are modeled as a single-degree-of-freedom vibration system. The disk surface is assumed to have a harmonic wavy roughness with linear contact stiffness and damping. From the computer simulation of the time history of the slider motion after dropping from the initial height of 10 nm, it is found that the contact vibration of the slider can attenuate and finally track on the wavy disk surface in a low waviness frequency range. As the waviness frequency increases, however, the slider cannot stay on the disk surface and comes to exhibit a variety of contact vibrations, such as sub- and super-harmonic resonance responses and finally comes to exhibit non-periodic vibration. It is also found that, among design parameters, the slider load to mass ratio and contact damping can greatly increase the surface waviness frequency and amplitude for which the stable tracking of a contact slider is possible.

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