04853810 is referenced by 79 patents and cites 8 patents.

The method involves the steps of moving the magnetic head (8) to within aerodynamic distance from the electrically conductive surface (16) of rotating magnetic recording disk, further positioning of the head (8) until a tunnel current occurs across the gap between the head (8) and surface (16), and maintaining said tunnel current constant by using the deviations of the current from a predetermined value corresponding to a certain flying height.

The apparatus comprises a tunnel electrode (9) forming an integral part of the head assembly which is attached to a distance control mechanism (5) permitting the positioning of the head assembly with a one-nanometer accuracy. The tunnel electrode (9) has a very slightly beveled shoulder (45, 47) ensuring early detection of asperities approaching the head. Gradation of the potential between tunnel electrode (9) and surface (16) of the recording disk (3) is used to enhance the response to asperities.

Title
Method and apparatus for controlling the flying height of the head in a magnetic storage unit
Application Number
909799
Publication Number
4853810
Application Date
November 23, 1987
Publication Date
August 1, 1989
Inventor
Paul R Muralt
Gommiswald
CH
James K Gimzewski
Zurich
CH
Wolfgang D Pohl
Adliswil
CH
Agent
Thomas Berthold
Assignee
International Business Machines Corporation
NY, US
IPC
G11B 17/32
G11B 15/62
G11B 5/60
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