Executive Summary :
Objective: Primary objective of the proposal is to develop smart protective overcoats of carbon, metal-carbon / metal nitride-carbon composite and metal-carbon / metal nitride-carbon bilayer and multilayer for magnetic storage and biomedical systems in order to advance related technology and durability (lifetime) of the systems, and minimize the product cost / and or replacement cost .
Summary: Friction, wear and corrosion (FWC) remain the primary modes of energy wastage, and system/device failure. In India friction and wear cost Rs 78 billion/year. Corrosion costs about six cents/dollar of gross domestic product in the USA. These concerns are very critical to a number of systems, particularly to hard disk medium, hard disk head, tape head (magnetic storage systems) as well as hip, knee and other metallic bio-implants. This is why magnetic storage devices necessarily require ultrathin protective overcoats otherwise they encounter system failure. However, magnetic storage advancement is directly related to thickness of the overcoats. Hard disk medium and head of current hard disk drives (HDDs) contain protective overcoats of thicknesses 2.5-3nm and 1.7-2nm, respectively which need to be reduced to < 2nm and < 1.5nm, respectively, for futuristic 4Tb/in2 HDDs, and < 1nm in each for visionary 10 Tb/in2 HDDs with maintained protective characteristics. However, traditional/existing overcoats have reached to their limit and provide inadequate protection at < 2nm thickness. Furthermore, < 10nm overcoats are required on next generation tape heads but maintaining protective characteristics at this thickness remains challenging as most of previous 20-100nm thick tape head overcoats have suffered early failure. Next, bio-implants encounter high friction and wear during cyclic/or back-forth movement and are susceptible to corrode, leading to early failure of the systems. This results in revision or surgeries for replacement, and cause physical and economical tortures. Overall, smart and innovative approaches are urgently required to develop energy efficient, advance and durable systems. In this project we aim to develop smart ultrathin and thin protective coatings of carbon, metal-carbon / metal nitride-carbon composites and metal-carbon / metal nitride-carbon bi- and multilayer by advanced plasma-based methods to efficiently suppress FWC concerns of magnetic storage and biomedical systems for advanced and durable technologies. Initial results indeed proved that our smart ultrathin coatings are superior to existing commercial overcoats used in many systems. Analytical characterizations and molecular dynamics simulations will also be used to discover fundamental scientific mechanisms. The bottom line is “this project will explore cutting edge science and technology which would contribute to bring CSIR & India forefront in international R&D on nanotechnology, materials engineering, and thin films.