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Laser on a Slider for Use in Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording

Abstract

Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) is a method that allows for storage of data on a magnetic recording medium at greater densities than are currently seen. Near field transducer needs to be able to efficiently focus light to very small spots (and hence provide very small thermal spots). Systems have been demonstrated where the source of optical energy was an off-slider source (i.e. external laser). There is a need to bring this light source to the slider itself. The advantages being increased efficiency and a full integrated HAMR solution for magnetic data storage.
The solution we propose is the coupling of a vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) via a grating coupler to an optical waveguide that feeds the near field transducer. This means integrating the laser onto the slider itself (Laser On a Slider: LOS). To this end, we are designing a VCSEL testbed that currently comprises a printed circuit board for mounting opened VCSEL packages; the VCSEL is exposed. This allows a waveguide/grating coupler to be brought into position atop the mounted VCSEL/PCB combination using a translation stage for initial coupling experiments. We currently are endeavoring to design a grating coupler, optimized to couple light from a VCSEL aperture (with beam divergences ~20º) into a symmetric slab waveguide. Additionally, 2-D electromagnetic models have been developed in Comsol in a first step toward ultimately modeling the full electromagnetic behavior of the LOS system.

Author Matt Chabalko
Tags grating, HAMR, laser, slider, VCSEL, waveguide
Uploaded August 10, 2010
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