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Thus far, it has been shown that lubricant depletion occurs at a relatively low temperature of approximately 200°C in thermally assisted magnetic recording (TAMR). Because the lubricant on the disk surface plays an important role in maintaining the reliability and durability of the head-disk interface (HDI), lubricant depletion is one of the critical issues in hard disk drives. Thus, there is a great need to develop technology that supplies lubricant to the HDI as the amount of lubricant decreases, so that the thickness of the lubricant film remains constant. In this study, we conducted a fundamental study of vapor lubrication using perfluoropolyether (PFPE) lubricants as the first step. In other words, we conducted an experimental study to elucidate the fundamental mechanism of vapor lubrication and to investigate the technological feasibility of applying vapor lubrication to hard disk drives. In addition, the possibility of using vapor lubrication in hard disk drives with contact sliders was also investigated. As a result, it was confirmed that vapor lubrication would be useful to overcome the lubricant depletion issue.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2012