Slider with thermal fly height control (TFC) uses a thermal heater to produce localized thermal protrusion and adjust the vertical position of the read/write head. This paper reports authors’ efforts in exploring large protrusion stroke with minimal heater power input whilst preserving heater robustness in the TFC slider, with an optimized thermal nano-actuator design. Effects of both heater line width and line spacing on TFC slider performances are investigated. A novel ‘Stream-River’ heater design approach is proposed. Simulation results conclude that the “Stream-River” approach is of both high power-protrusion efficiency and high heater robustness.

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