A Study of the Nanoscale Heat Transfer in the HDD Head-Disk Interface Based on a Static Touchdown Experiment

Yuan Ma, Amin Ghafari, Yuying Wu, David Bogy (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the heat transfer behavior at the nanoscale head-disk interface (HDI) in hard disk drives is crucial for head design, media design, and failure analysis of the current hard disk drive (HDD) industry, especially for the emerging technologies including heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR), and 2-D magnetic recording (TDMR). Previous experimental studies of both static touchdown technique and theoretical developments of the wave-based phonon conduction have shown enhanced heat transfer at the HDI. To better understand the heat transfer behavior across the HDI, a series of the simulation is necessary to connect the theory and the detailed geometric model of the HDI. In this article, we developed a finite-element model to explain the temperature change of the head during a static touchdown experiment. The wave-based phonon conduction theory is integrated into the simulation through iteration. The simulation results trend in agreement with the theoretical development and the experimental results. This simulation strategy can also be implemented for flying heads to predict the heat transfer behavior under HAMR conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8961204
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Head-disk interface (HDI)
  • nanoscale heat transfer
  • simulation
  • static touchdown

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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