Tribology Letters

, 66:145 | Cite as

Effect of Rheology and Slip on Lubricant Deformation and Disk-to-Head Transfer During Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR)

  • Siddhesh V. SakhalkarEmail author
  • David B. Bogy
Original Paper


The high-temperature laser heating during heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) causes the media lubricant to deform and transfer to the head via evaporation/condensation. The ability of the lubricant to withstand this writing process and sufficiently recover post-writing is critical for robust read/write performance. Moreover, the media-to-head lubricant transfer causes a continuous deposition of contaminants originating from the media at the head near field transducer, challenging the reliability of HAMR drives. Most previous studies on the effects of laser exposure on lubricant depletion have assumed the lubricant to be a viscous fluid and have modeled its behavior using traditional lubrication theory. However, Perfluoropolyether lubricants are viscoelastic fluids and are expected to exhibit a combination of viscous and elastic behavior at the timescale of HAMR. In this paper, we introduce a modification to the traditional Reynolds lubrication equation using the linear Maxwell constitutive equation and a slip boundary condition. We study the deformation and recovery of the lubricant due to laser heating under the influence of thermocapillary stress and disjoining pressure. Subsequently, we use this modified lubrication equation to develop a model that predicts the media-to-head lubricant transfer during HAMR. This model simultaneously determines the deformation and evaporation of the viscoelastic lubricant film on the disk, the diffusion of the vapor phase lubricant in the air bearing, and the evolution of the condensed lubricant film on the head. We investigate the effect of viscoelasticity, lubricant type (Zdol vs Ztetraol), molecular weight, slip, and disjoining pressure on the lubricant transfer process.


Hard disk drives Heat-assisted magnetic recording Lubricant Viscoelasticity Rheology Slip Contamination Smear 



This work was supported by the Computer Mechanics Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley, Mechanical Engineering Department.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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