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Proceedings Paper

Review of laser-based applications advancing magnetic-recording hard-disk-drive technology
Author(s): Gurinder P. Singh; Peter Baumgart; Eric Baugh; Chie Poon; Timothy Strand
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Paper Abstract

Laser-based technologies have played an important role in manufacturing of hard disk drives. The applications include disk texturing, precision bending of the suspension, precision adjust of the shape of the slider carrying the magnetic read/write head and protection against electrostatic discharge (ESD) in the read/write heads. Disk texturing allows one to reduce slider/disk stiction during contact by producing bumps only a few nanometers high and a few microns in diameter at the landing zone of the disk. Laser bending of the suspension allows one to precisely control gram load, the pre-load force with which the slider is pushed towards the disk, as well as the pitch and roll static attitudes of the slider, which strongly influence its flying characteristics. Laser crown adjust helps control slider flatness to within a few nanometers, with high precision and predictability. These technologies allow one to reduce both the mean and the tolerance of slider/disk spacing, thus effectively enabling higher magnetic recording densities. Laser technology helps to protect the sensitive magnetic read head against electrostatic discharge by allowing one to put an electrical short on the head during most of the part's handling, then removing it using a sharply focussed laser beam during final stages of drive assembly. Laser technology, with its ability to process small areas with precision positioning, being contact free and hence largely contamination free and being able reach areas with optical fibers not easily accessible by mechanical means is ideally suited for these manufacturing processes. In this paper we review the physical mechanisms underlying these technologies and possible future applications of lasers in disk drive manufacturing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2005
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 5713, Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics IV, (12 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.594420
Show Author Affiliations
Gurinder P. Singh, Hitachi San Jose Research Ctr. (United States)
Peter Baumgart, Hitachi San Jose Research Ctr. (United States)
Eric Baugh, Hitachi San Jose Research Ctr. (United States)
Chie Poon, Hitachi San Jose Research Ctr. (United States)
Timothy Strand, Hitachi San Jose Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5713:
Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics IV
Jim Fieret; David B. Geohegan; Friedrich G. Bachmann; Willem Hoving; Frank Träger; Peter R. Herman; Jan J. Dubowski; Tatsuo Okada; Kunihiko Washio; Yongfeng Lu; Craig B. Arnold, Editor(s)

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