Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR)
Faculty Advisor(s): Frank E. Talke

Primary Student
Name: Benjamin Ying-Xiu Suen
Email: bsuen@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-534-2882
Grad Year: 2016

Heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) is a future technology that will allow for hard disk drives to store data with a density exceeding 1 Tb/in2. HAMR operates by using a nearfield transducer, on a flying head, to focus laser light into a nanoscale spot below the head on the hard disk?s platter. The intense electromagnetic radiation heats the magnetic material on the platter to its Curie temperature, the coercively of the material decreases, a magnetic field is applied to the platter from the head, and a bit is written before the material cools down to room temperature. While this emerging technology can revolutionize data storage, it also presents a number of engineering challenges. The repeated exposure of the hard disk?s recording media to intense near-field electromagnetic radiation and heat is known to cause degradation of the media?s tribological performance. This eventually leads to premature failure of the hard disk drive. In order for one to develop materials that can resolve the aforementioned difficulties, one must be able to both replicate HAMR-like electromagnetic conditions and measure changes in materials undergoing study. In this research we are designing a side-illuminated nearfield transducer, using similar technology to ones found in heat assisted magnetic recording dives, and then integrating it onto an atomic force microscope probe. A laser will be directed onto the transducer, thus creating intense nearfield radiation conditions similar to those found in a HAMR drive. Chemical and thermal changes occurring in the test material will be quantified by measuring the changes in the spectra of the Raman shifted light emitted from the tip-surface interface, and topographical changes will be quantified though atomic force microscopy. The technique proposed allows one to rapidly test small material samples for damage resistance to intense nearfield radiation and heating. For the purpose of engineering heat assisted magnetic recording drives, the proposed technique allows hard disk engineers to bypass the complexity of manufacturing entire disks of each test material and then attempting to fly a head over it. Instead, one can simply produce small material coupons for measurement. This technique will allow engineers to rapidly iterate material designs and will therefore allow engineers to better focus on material development for HAMR disk drives.

Industry Application Area(s)
Electronics/Photonics | Materials | Data Storage

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