The impact of lubricants on the precision lapping process

Xionghua Jiang, Zhenxing Chen, Joy Wolfram, Zhongxian Wei, Yuqiu Shen, Zhizhou Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The impact of lubricants on pole-tip recession and surface morphology of hard disk drive heads in the precision lapping process was investigated with atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and auger electron spectroscopy. In particular, the effects of deionized water, hydrocarbon oil, ethanediol, isopropanol, and ethanol lubricants were evaluated. The results reveal that proper selection of lubricant is critical for achieving optimal performance in the lapping process. A mixture of 68% hydrocarbon oil, 30% isopropanol, and 2% octadecenoic acid was found to yield the most favorable results, displaying a writer shield recession, first shield of reader recession, and surface roughness of 0.423, 0.581, and 0.242 nm, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1708-14
Number of pages7
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2014


  • Journal Article


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