To study the nanoscale heat transfer and laser-related protrusions in heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), we performed static touchdown experiments between HAMR waveguide heads and non-rotating media such as a silicon wafer and a recording disk with an AlMg substrate. During the static touchdown, the laser element is energized with DC current and the embedded contact sensor (ECS) is used to monitor the head temperature. The experimental results show that the thermal fly-height control (TFC) touchdown power decreases with increasing laser current. Meanwhile, the head temperature increases due to the laser heating. From this the ECS resistance rise induced by the laser is extracted. The results show that the silicon wafer dissipates heat effectively under the laser exposure, while the AlMg-substrate disk undergoes a higher temperature rise, which in turn heats the head.

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