Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Studies on Amorphous Carbon Films and Carbon Overcoats in Commercial Hard Disk Drives


Far-field Raman spectroscopy and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy were used to investigate 20-nm-thick amorphous carbon films and 3-nm-thick carbon overcoats of commercial hard disk drives. Enhancement of the Raman signal on both samples was observed indicating the activation of surface plasmons. The largest enhancement was found for the 3-nm-thick carbon overcoat of a commercial hard disk suggesting that the chemistry of nanometer-thick carbon films can be studied using tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy with high sensitivity and resolution.

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Andreas Rosenkranz acknowledges the Feodor Lynen Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (Grants CBET-1704085, DMR-1707641, ECCS-1405234 and ECCS-1507146) and the Cymer Corporation. This work was performed in part at the San Diego Nanotechnology Infrastructure (SDNI) of UCSD, a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure, which is supported by the NSF (Grant ECCS-1542148).

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Correspondence to Andreas Rosenkranz.

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Rosenkranz, A., Freeman, L., Suen, B. et al. Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Studies on Amorphous Carbon Films and Carbon Overcoats in Commercial Hard Disk Drives. Tribol Lett 66, 54 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11249-018-1005-2

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  • Hard disk drives
  • Carbon overcoats
  • Diamond-like carbon
  • Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy