Yang, Shuming and Jiang, Xiang (2008) The Roughness Measurement and Assessment of the Super-smooth Surface of Hard Disks. Key Engineering Materials, 364-36. pp. 1174-1179. ISSN 1013-9826

The rate of increasing storage capacity is being slowed by the inability to produce ever
closer flying heights between the sliders and disks. In order to allow the sliders to ‘fly’ faster and
more closely to the disk surfaces, it is important to control the surface of substrates of hard disks to
a super-smooth level. However, there are no sophisticated instruments and assessment standards
for super-smooth surfaces. In this research, the authors attempt to build a measurement and
assessment protocol for the evaluation of super-smooth surfaces using a white-light optical
instrument CCI (Coherence Correlation Interferometer). The key advantage of this instrument is its
exceptionally high vertical resolution which is an order of magnitude better than comparable
systems. This paper focuses on discussing the factors influencing the experimental results; they
include sampling intervals, the number of measurements, scan size, filter cut-off wavelength etc.
Based on the experimental results, an optimum protocol for measurement and assessment are
recommended, and then the authors measure and compare the surface roughness of six hard disks
derived from differing chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) ‘abrasives’. It has been found that:
(1) the roughness values of the six hard disks surfaces have all reached a sub-nanometre level; (2)
CMP regimes have little influence on the topography of the hard disk surfaces.

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