Recent use of magnetoresistive (MR)/giant-magnetoresistive (GMR) heads in d
isk drives requires tighter control on particle contamination that may gene
rate thermal asperities at the head/disk interface. In this study, the effe
cts of slider air bearing surface (ABS) design and media on TA reduction ca
pability are investigated. The motion of particles at the head/media interf
ace is simulated numerically. Drive level TA tests are performed using a pa
rticle injection chamber. It is observed that a new ABS design, that has an
aerodynamic U-shaped rail and a central airflow passage, is beneficial in
reducing the particle contamination on the slider. Scratch-resistance of th
e media surface is correlated to TA reduction capability of the media; more
scratch-resistant media produced less TA. On the other hand, the adhesion
properties of the media have minor effects on TA reduction, as the particle
s that usually generate TA in a drive are too small to spin off the media.
(C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.