Dynamic Adhesive Contact with Molecularly Thin Lubricant at the Head-Disk Interface of Hard Disk Drives Academic Article uri icon


  • The dynamic adhesive contact with a molecularly thin lubricant (MTL) layer at the head disk interface of hard disk drives was studied. The air bearing (AB) forces and moments, induced by the flow of air between the textured slider surface and the rotating disk, were modeled using lumped nonlinear springs. The MTL dynamic contact model combines the solid contact formulations of the improved sub-boundary lubrication (ISBL) model, accounts for variable surface energy with penetration into the lubricant layer, and includes lubricant contact forces. The proposed MTL model predicted reduced transient vibrations relative to the ISBL model, since the MTL lubricant layer acted to dampen out slider motion. Contact occurred only on the thermal fly-heaigh control bulge and was contained within the lubricant layer during steady actuation, suggesting that near-contact or surfing recording is achievable. This would allow for the maximization of the achievable recording density with currently available technologies.

author list (cited authors)

  • Vakis, A. I., & Polycarpou, A. A.

publication date

  • March 2012