A University of Illinois Ph.D. candidate has developed a polyester-based lubricant that could improve hard drive performance and longevity.
Otherwise know as sterically hindered polyester (SHP), the lubricant can be cast as a thin film over a drive platter's surface. SHP is apparently less prone to stiction and rippling than traditional perfluoropolyether-based (PFPE) lubricants. Ripple can be particularly problematic with hard drives spinning over 10K RPM, where centrifugal forces can spin PFPE lubricants right off the disk. SHP may also be more resistant to corrosion than traditional lubricants, and best of all, it's apparently a "simpler and less expensive solution."
From Tech Report