The National Institute of Education invites suitable applications for the position of Research Associate/Fellow on a 12-month contract at the Natural Sciences and Science Education Academic Group.
Project Title: High energy density pulsed plasma based alternate carbon overcoat deposition technology to push hard disk drives storage density beyond 4 Tb/in2
The goal of the hard disk drive (HDD) industry is to advance the areal density towards/beyond 4 Tb/in2. This will require the reduction of head-media spacing (HMS; the spacing between magnetic layers of read/write head and magnetic media) to 3.7 nm. Future HMS will include a flying clearance of ~0.7 nm, lubricant thickness of 1 nm and protective carbon overcoat (COC) of 1 nm each on both the head and the media. The HDD industry, for long, used magnetron sputtering for COCs deposition. Presently, the HDD industry uses plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) to deposit 2-2.5 nm thin hydrogenated carbon (CHx) overcoats. However, at sub-2 nm thickness the protective characteristics of CHx-based COCs start to deteriorate and they also become thermally unstable in heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) conditions (future HDD technology).
Therefore, alternative technologies, such as filtered-cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA), are being explored for COCs deposition particularly because they are able to synthesize thermally stable COCs with high sp3 content. However, FCVA faces two key problems of particles generation and low deposition rates making then unsuitable for COCs deposition. Alternate COC deposition technologies are thus highly desirable. We propose to develop high energy density pulsed plasma (HEDPP) device based technology; to achieve intended industry relevant ~1 nm, large area (65 mm diameter), highly uniform (<3% non-uniformity) and with >30% sp3 content COC deposition.
Singapore is a major player in HDD media manufacturing. Almost half-of-world’s HDD media are manufactured in Singapore. The HEDPP-LVSFM-DPF device based alternate COCs deposition technology is expected to be a major breakthrough to bring the head-media spacing and hence meeting the requirements for high areal density.