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New reactive ion etching process for HDD slider fabrication

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4 Author(s)
Fukushima, N. ; Citizen Watch Co. Ltd., Saitama, Japan ; Sato, T. ; Wada, Toshiaki ; Horiike, Yasuhiro

High-rate and smooth surface etching of Al2O3-TiC has been developed employing inductively coupled plasma (ICP) for HDD head slider fabrication. The etching rate of 350 nm/min, which is more than seven times that of Ar ion beam etching, and average surface roughness (Ra) of around 20 nm were obtained as a result of optimizing etching gas composition of the Cl2/BCl3/Ar mixture. The presence of Ar both enhances the etching rate of Al2O3 grains, which limits the Al2O3-TiC rate, and suppresses that of TiC grains to improve the surface roughness. This study demonstrates the feasibility of ICP etching for fabricating high precision sliders with high throughput

Published in:

Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 5 )