As we approach the turn of the century, the demand for storage is rapidly increasing, fueled by multimedia and its associated applications. Hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturers continue to respond by chasing the areal density curve to provide higher capacity and higher performance disk drives. The required technology changes are expected to aggravate performance and reliability problems, such as stiction, associated with organic contamination; thermal asperities, associated with particulate contamination; and corrosion, associated with ionic contamination. Anticipation and proactive resolution of chemical integration and contamination control problems are key to the successful development and manufacturing of advanced HDDs. In this paper, types and sources of contamination that can impact HDD performance are described; various contamination-related problems are reviewed; and a methodology by which successful chemical integration in the hard disk drive business can be accomplished is outlined.

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