Tribological Behavior of Amorphous Carbon Nitride Overcoats for Magnetic Thin-Film Rigid Disks

[+] Author and Article Information
Eric C. Cutiongco, Dong Li, Yip-Wah Chung

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

C. Singh Bhatia

IBM Corporation, San Jose, CA 95193

J. Tribol 118(3), 543-548 (Jul 01, 1996) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2831572 History: Received March 02, 1995; Revised July 17, 1995; Online January 24, 2008


Amorphous carbon nitride coatings of thickness of 5 and 30 nm were deposited onto 65 and 95 mm magnetic thin-film rigid disks surfaces using single-cathode and dual-cathode magnetron sputtering systems containing nitrogen-argon plasmas. Under optimum deposition conditions, amorphous carbon nitride coatings can be synthesized on ultrasmooth thin-film disks with no significant pinholes at thickness down to 5 nm, with hardness 22–28 GPa (compared to 7–12 GPa for amorphous carbon), and r.m.s. roughness as low as 0.25 nm. These amorphous carbon nitride coatings were shown to have better contact-start-stop performance and three-to-four times better pin-on-disk contact durability compared with amorphous carbon overcoats under identical testing conditions. Amorphous carbon nitride appears to be a promising candidate overcoat material for replacing amorphous carbon in the next-generation magnetic thin-film rigid disk systems.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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