An embedded contact sensor (ECS), which is a thermal sensor built into a head slider, has been used for contact detection between the head slider and the disk in hard disk drives. Our previous research showed that ECS could successfully detect pits on the disk and spacing modulation between the head and disk. In this work, the sensor temperature effect caused by self heating and by the thermal fly height control (TFC) heater was studied in a non-flying condition for better understanding ECS. The results showed that the temperature dependency of the TFC heater was 10 times that of ECS self-bias heating. TFC heating is dominant and the key factor in ECS sensitivity to pit detection and spacing monitoring.

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