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Applications - Electrical & Electronics

Park Systems, Nanotechnology Solutions Partner for HDD Industry

Park Systems serves the hard disk drive (HDD) industry with automated nanotechnology measurement solutions including atomic force microscopes, software, and global service and support. Partnering with world leaders in HDD industry, Park Systems has been successfully delivering optimized solutions for the most challenging imaging and measurement needs in the industry. 

The company's HDD-Optimize program is the state-of the-art nanotechnology solution service for the hard disk drive industry. Under the systematic approach of the program, Park Systems ensures rapid alignment and performance of the XE nanotechnology measurement platform with the specific requirement of its customers.

Limitations in Current Method of HDM Defect Review



Defect Mapping by Tester

Defect location/marking with
KLA Tencor’s CandelaTM
Throughput: less than 5 defects/hr

Manual AFM imaging
Throughput: : 1~2 defects/hr

 Low throughput: 10 defects per day at best
 High labor cost
 Destructive method

Challenges in Developing Automated Defect Review AFM


During Survey Scan;
 Small defects are imaged in one or two pixels.
 Signal level is often low


We need AFM with; 
 Low system noise, less than 0.5 A rms
 Artifact-free AFM scan
 - to detect tiny defect signal during the Survey Scan
 - to profile the defect type (pit, bump, scratch, etc)

XE-HDM: Enabling Automatic Defect Review of Hard Disk Media and Substrates

Continuing the company’s impressive track record of developing optimized solutions, Park Systems introduces XE-HDM, an automatic defect review AFM which revolutionizes the way defects in HDD substrates and media are searched, scanned and analyzed. The new XE-HDM significantly increases throughput for the defect review process.


 Automated reference marker detection
 Automated stage mapping of XE-HDM
 Transfer KLA Tencor CandelaTM defect map to XE-HDM
 Automated survey scan of defects mapped by CandelaTM
 Automated zoom-in scan of specified defects
 Automated profiling of imaged defect types
 Automated analysis of imaged defects (in development)

The Limitations of Conventional AFM

Scanner Bowing (Piezo tube is NOT an Orthogonal 3-D Actuator)

Flattening, software correction, is required
Distorts or wipes out tiny defect signals during the Survey Scan

Non-Contact Mode not Possible

Inevitable tip wear occurs when using contact or tapping mode
Tip life is not long enough to complete “one” automated defect review run


The Innovative XE Technology Overcomes the Challenges


Flat and Linear XY Scan (Decoupled XY and Z Scanners)

No Flattening is required, providing flat and linear XY scan
All defects can be detected during the Survey Scan without any artifacts

True Non-Contact Mode (High Force Z Scanner)

Significantly increased tip life (less tip wear and tear)
Consistent tip condition throughout multiple automatic runs

Result of Test Runs


The test runs demonstrate over 500 ~ 800 % gain in throughput The automation allows users to manage several tools simultaneously

Summary: Key Benefits of XE-HDM


Applications | Data Storage