Park PTR Fully Automated AFM

The PTR Series from Park Systems is a fully automatic industrial in-line AFM solution for, but not limited to, automatic pole tip recession measurements on individual slider-level, row bar-level and HGA-level sliders. The PTR Series with its sub-nanoscale accuracy, throughput and repeatability, is a metrology tool that is ideal for slider manufacturers to enhance their overall production yield.

Inline Automation for Fast, Accurate and Repeatable PTR Measurements

The hard disk drive slider manufacturing industry demands a tool that provides streamlined, fast pole tip recession measurements while maintaining the highest standard of accuracy available. This industry demands a tool which offers highly accurate PTR measurements to process engineers with in-line automation that improves throughput. This makes the Park NX-PTR the ideal solution for HDD slider manufacturers focusing on maximizing their production yield and quality.

High Throughput with No Need for Multiple Reference Scans

Multiple scans are required by most AFMs to obtain accurate PTR measurements. First, macroscale reference scans are performed followed by high-resolution scans of smaller areas of interest. This multi-scan process limits throughput and takes up a lot of time. The crosstalk eliminated scan system from Park Systems enables extremely flat scans, resulting in effective elimination of the multi-scan process.

In addition, True Non-Contact Mode™ preserves tip sharpness for much longer tip life and prolonged high-resolution imaging. This allows the Park NX-PTR to deliver accurate images of highly detailed regions of interest present within larger macrostructures without the need of a reference scan to check different scanner artifacts.


Automated Inline Measurements of Hard Disk Sliders

Accuracy at the nanoscale plays a significant role in enhancing the production yield of hard disk sliders with increasing complexity and shrinking dimensions. Automatic, accurate measurements for hard disk sliders can be generated by Park NX-PTR.

Automatic PTR Measurement and Analysis

Pole tip recession measurements are completely automated with the Park NX-PTR system, providing the user with higher throughput capability, at the carrier, slider and row bar level.

Park Systems’ industrial AFM provides accurate and reliable Pole Tip Recession (PTR) measurements in full automation.

Park Systems’ industrial AFM provides accurate and reliable Pole Tip Recession (PTR) measurements in full automation.

Proper monitoring of the PTR value requires a measurement accuracy of 0.1 nm, referenced against a surface which is 20 µm away.

Proper monitoring of the PTR value requires a measurement accuracy of 0.1 nm, referenced against a surface which is 20 µm away.

Automatic Wall Angle Measurement and Analysis

Automatically acquire measurement and analysis of different wall angle applications.

Automatic Defect Measurement and Analysis

Measurement and analysis of a wide range of defects such as edge spikes are completely automated.

Park NX-PTR Features

Low-Noise XYZ Position Sensors for More Accurate Scans

The Park NX-PTR uses its ultra-low noise Z detector, instead of the generally used Z voltage signal that is non-linear in nature, in order to provide extraordinary accuracy in topography height measurement. The advanced low-noise Z detector replaces the applied Z voltage as the topography signal and makes the forward and backward scan gap a negligible 0.15% of the scan range.

Minimal Thermal Drift and Hysteresis Reduces Tip Drift

The body of the Park NX-PTR is custom designed so that it is extremely thermally and mechanically stable, minimizing thermal drift and providing measurements with increased accuracy. A typical thermal drift rate is less than 200 nm/°C for the vertical direction and 100 nm/°C for the lateral direction.

Automatic Measurement Control for Accurate Scans with Less Work

Automated software integrated in the Park NX-PTR makes operation nearly effortless. The user only has to select the preferred measurement program to obtain a precise multi-site analysis with optimized settings for cantilever tuning, gain, scan rate and set point parameters.

Park's user-friendly software interface provides users with the flexibility to develop customized operation routines or recipes, allowing them to access the full power of the NX-PTR and obtain the required measurements. Developing new recipes is an effortless task. A new recipe can be developed from scratch with 10 minutes and it takes less than 5 minutes to alter an existing one.

Park NX-PTR’s Automated System Features

  • Automatic analysis of obtained measurement data
  • Live monitoring of the measurement process
  • Editable measurement technique for all automated routines
  • Semi-auto, auto and manual mode allows users to have complete control


Productivity Meets Accuracy

Automatic Tip Exchange

The automatic tip exchange system from Park Systems allows the user to seamlessly continue automated measurement routines. The system automatically calibrates cantilever location and optimizes measurement settings based on a reference pattern’s measurements. Park’s new magnetically-based approach to tip exchange has a 99% success rate, enabling users to carry out improved work with less oversight.

Automatic Laser Beam Alignment

Park’s automatic laser beam alignment allows the user to seamlessly continue automated measurement routines without the need for user input. Park’s advanced pre-aligned cantilever holder focuses the laser beam on the cantilever upon automatic tip exchange. This is followed by optimizing the laser spot along the X- and Y-axis by motorized positioning knobs.

Customize your AFM to make it More Efficient and More Effective

Customized Sample Fixture

Customers’ specific samples, individual sliders or row bars can be supported by Park Systems’ customized sample fixtures. The customized sample fixture helps to provide an improved connection between the NX-PTR and the measuring sample to acquire increased accuracy.

Customized HGA Fixture

It is possible to custom build HGA fixtures to firmly fit a particular HGA design provided by the customer, offering a more stable fixture. The entire HGA can be easily loaded and unloaded by the users with the help of this non-damaging fixture. Up to 5 HGA samples of similar design can be mounted at the same time.

Ionization System for a More Stable Scanning Environment

The innovative ionization system from Park Systems effectively and quickly removes electrostatic charges in the environment of the sample. This system constantly generates and maintains the perfect balance of negative and positive ions, and can create an extremely stable charge environment with minimal risk of accidental electrostatic charge during sample handling and little contamination of the surrounding area.


The main specifications of the Park PTR AFM Series are as follows:

Park NX-PTR Specifications

System Specification
Motorized XY stage Travels up to 200 × 200 mm, 2 µm repeatability
Motorized Z stage 25 mm Z travel distance
0.1 µm resolution, < 1 µm repeatability
Motorized Focus Stage 15 mm Z travel distance for on-axis optics
Tilting stage Tilt angle: ±1.8°
Resolution: 3.28 nm for 50 µm
Sample Thickness Allowance up to 20 mm
Full scan range Z run-out < 2 nm
COGNEX Pattern Recognition Pattern align resolution of 1/4 pixel
Scanner Performances
XY Scanner Range 100 µm × 100 µm
XY Scanner Resolution 0.095 nm (20 bit position control)
Z Scanner Range 15 µm
Z Scanner Resolution 0.01 nm
AFM and XY Stage Control Electronics
ADC 18 channels
4 high-speed ADC channels (64 MSPS)
24-bit ADCs for X,Y and Z scanner position sensor
DAC 12 channels
2 high-speed DAC channels (64 MSPS)
20-bit DACs for X,Y and Z scanner positioning
Maximun Scan Size 4096 x 4096 pixels
Vibration, Acoustic Noise, and ESD Performances
Floor Vibration < 0.5 µm/s (10 Hz to 200 Hz w/ Active Vibration Isolation System)
Acoustic Noise >20 dB attenuation w/ Acoustic Enclosure
Facility Requirements
Room Temperature (Stand By) 10 °C ~ 40 °C
Room Temperature (Operating) 18 °C ~ 24 °C
Humidity 30% to 60% (not condensing)
Floor Vibration Level VC-E (3 µm/sec)
Acoustic Noise Below 65 dB
Pneumatics Vacuum : -60 kPa
Power Supply Rating 100/120 V/ 208~240 V, single phase, 15 A (max)
Total Power Consumption 2 KW (typical)
Ground Resistance Below 100 ohms
Dimensions in mm & Weight in kg
Acoustic Enclosure 880 mm (w) × 980 mm (d) × 1460 mm (h)
620 kg approx. (incl. basic Park NX-HDM System)
Control Cabinet 600 mm (w) × 900 mm (d) × 1600 mm (h)
170 kg approx. (incl. controllers)
System Floor Space 1720 (w) × 920 (d)
Ceiling Height 2000 mm or more
Operator Working Space 2400 (w) mm × 2450 mm (d), minimum

[ Park NX-PTR system dimension ] / [ Park NX-PTR installation layout ]

[ Park NX-PTR system dimension ] / [ Park NX-PTR installation layout ]

Park XE-PTR installation layout

Park XE-PTR installation layout

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