Study of a spherical-pad head slider for stable low-clearance recording in near-contact regime

Yuki Shimizu, Kyosuke Ono, Junguo Xu, Ryuji Tsuchiyama, Hidetoshi Anan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A slider with an air-bearing surface that has a small spherical pad around the read/write elements on the trailing center pad was developed to reduce the meniscus and friction forces and slider clearance loss. While the slider which has a spherical pad of a radius less than 10 mm, the meniscus force is reduced to less than 10% of the air-bearing lift force, thus, flying height modulation is decreased and instability are suppressed. Evaluation using an air-bearing surface model with a spherical pad showed that slider clearance was increased by 1 nm at a 5-nm nominal flying height. Evaluation using touchdown-takeoff testing of a spherical pad slider fabricated by depositing carbon on the center pad air-bearing surface by means of the lift-off resist technique showed that the spherical pad slider had a very small friction force and acoustic emission output up to a 5-nm interference height. It thus provides instability-free sliding in the near-contact regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Friction force
  • Head slider
  • Head/disk interface
  • Meniscus force
  • Spherical pad slider

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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