The Application of Scanning Tunneling Microscopy to Study Lubricant Distribution of Magnetic Thin Film Rigid Disk Surfaces

[+] Author and Article Information
T. S. Sriram, K. J. Wahl, Y.-W. Chung

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

B. Bhushan

IBM Research Division, Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA 95120

W. Rothschild

IBM Application Business Systems Division, Rochester, MN 55901

J. Tribol 113(2), 245-248 (Apr 01, 1991) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2920612 History: Received March 05, 1990; Revised June 19, 1990; Online June 05, 2008


A special imaging mode of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) based on charge trapping was used to probe the uniformity of lubricant distribution on magnetic thin film rigid disks at resolutions of better than 35 nm. Electron beam deposited STM tips were used to achieve this resolution. Coupons from untested rigid disks and those subjected to wear in dry helium and humid air were examined. We also examined coupons of an untested disk on which a scratch mark was made with a ferrite pin. It was found that the lubricant layer was nonuniform in the scratched region.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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