Effect of relative humidity and disk acceleration on tribocharge build-up at a slider-disk interface

Dae Young Lee, Jaeho Lee, Jungho Hwang, Sung Hoon Choa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


High performance disk drives require high spindle speed. The spindle speed of typical hard disk drives has increased in recent years from 5400 to 15000 rpm and even higher speeds are anticipated in the near future. The increasing disk velocity leads to increasing disk acceleration and slider-disk interaction. As the head-to-disk spacing continues to decrease to facilitate increasing recording densities in disk drives, the slider-disk interaction has become much more severe due to the direct contact of head and disk surfaces in both start/stop and flying cases. The slider-disk interaction in contact-start-stop (CSS) mode is an important source of particle generation and tribocharge. Charge build-up in the slider-disk interface can cause electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage and lubricant decomposition. In turn, ESD can cause severe melting damage to MR or GMR heads. We measured the tribocurrent/voltage build-up generated at increasing disk acceleration. In addition, we examined the effects of relative humidity on the tribocharge build-up. We found that the tribocurrent/voltage was generated during pico-slider/disk interaction and that its level was below 250 pA and 0.5 V, respectively. Tribocurrent/voltage build-up was reduced with increasing disk acceleration. Higher humidity conditions (75-80%) yielded lower levels of tribovoltage/current. Therefore, a higher tribocharge is expected at a lower disk acceleration and lower relative humidity condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1257
Number of pages5
JournalTribology International
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Grant no. R01-2005-000-10723-0 from Basic Research Program of the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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