This paper reports on a feasibility study in the detection of nanometer thick lubricated regions on a hard disk by a novel use of a Kelvin probe. A nonvibrating Kelvin probe was constructed and used to measure the voltages between the copper surface of the probe and a hard disk partially-lubricated with a perfluoropolyether. The probe, constructed of a shielded 1.6 mm diameter gold-coated copper wire, was fixed above the hard disk and the probe voltage was obtained as a function of the speed of the disk and lubricant thickness. The probe generates an electrical signal as the interface between the lubricated and unlubricated regions is crossed. Results show that the probe can distinguish between regions on the hard disk that contain 3 and 10 nm thick lubricant films.
Nonvibrating Contact Potential Difference Probe Measurement of a Nanometer-Scale Lubricant on a Hard Disk
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Yano, D., Korach, C., Streator, J., and Danyluk, S. (October 1, 1999). "Nonvibrating Contact Potential Difference Probe Measurement of a Nanometer-Scale Lubricant on a Hard Disk." ASME. J. Tribol. October 1999; 121(4): 980–983. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2834165
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