CMU MEMS Laboratory Publication Abstract


in IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp. 1915-1918, July 2001.
A MEMS-Based Monolithic Electrostatic Microactuator for Ultra-Low Magnetic Disk Head Fly Height Control
F. Chen, H. Xie and G. Fedder
A novel MEMS-based electrostatic actuator design is proposed for recording head fly height control below 10 nm. Different from prior work on MEMS-based electrostatic microactuators designed for magnetic hard disk drives (HDD), the proposed microactuator is fabricated monolithically with a conventional head/slider design. The actuator is micromachined into the same side as the head element on a slider with a modified CMOS-MEMS process. It has an extremely small size, light weight and a very simple structure. The head is suspended and actuated up and down by the actuator during recording process to maintain a constant fly height. A desired range and precision of actuation is achieved under control voltages of less than 30 V. A mechanical resonant frequency of over 100 kHz is obtained.
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Full paper (PDF) (opens in new window).

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