Cathodic arc deposition forms ultra-thin amorphous hard carbon films of high sp3 content, high hardness, and low coefficient of friction. These properties make it of great interest for head/disk interface application, in particular for contact recording. In many cases, the tribological properties of the head disk interface could be improved by factors up to ten by applying cathodic arc overcoats to the slider or disk surface. This paper reviews the results of cathodic arc ultra-thin (2–10 nm) carbon overcoats for head/disk interface tribological applications.

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