Surface profiling, or the inspection of microscopic surface features on media

Surface profiling, or the inspection of microscopic surface features on media, measures such details as pole-tip recession and air-bearing surface flatness. Early on, profilers dragged a stylus across the surface of the media, but that destroyed the sample; improvements on that design used lower-force tips to measure the surface, but still damaged enough sliders that profilers remained consigned to the laboratory. However, the advent of atomic force microscopy brought about the first noncontact

Feb 1st, 2000

Surface profiling, or the inspection of microscopic surface features on media, measures such details as pole-tip recession and air-bearing surface flatness. Early on, profilers dragged a stylus across the surface of the media, but that destroyed the sample; improvements on that design used lower-force tips to measure the surface, but still damaged enough sliders that profilers remained consigned to the laboratory. However, the advent of atomic force microscopy brought about the first noncontact optical laser profiler in 1986 and allowed the profiler to move from the lab to an-line spot on the production floor.

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