Nanomechanical property and nanowear measurements for Sub-10-nm thick films in magnetic storage

K. M. Lee, C. D. Yeo, A. A. Polycarpou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In the magnetic storage industry, thin film carbon overcoats play a critical role in reducing magnetic and physical spacing between the recording slider and the rotating disk so that the information stored per unit area is maximized. Thin film carbon overcoats have been improved such that they exhibit higher hardness with lower thickness of few nanometers and still being able to perform reliably. In this paper, nanoindentation and nanoscratch techniques to measure nanomechanical properties, namely hardness, elastic modulus and shear strength of thin solid films were presented along with a recently developed high resolution force transducer. Nanowear behavior characterization techniques were also examined and were applied to commercially available magnetic disks to characterize their wear behavior. It was shown that the properties and wear behavior of sub-10-nm thick film carbon overcoats were reliably measured. These techniques could be applied to different thin solid films on substrates, and they are not restricted to magnetic storage systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Magnetic storage
  • Nanoindentation
  • Nanoscratch
  • Thin film carbon overcoat


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