ESD Overview

If you’ve ever been “shocked” after walking across a new carpet you’ve witnessed the creation of electrostatic charge and the effects of electrostatic discharge (ESD). For two kids trying to “shock” each other this can be great fun, but for modern electronics and semiconductors the same effects can cause severe damage. When left unchecked electrostatic charge accumulation and ESD can damage electronic devices, contaminate manufacturing areas, increase development time, reduce product yields, affect product reliability and have significant detrimental cost impact ranging from a few cents for a single damaged device to billions of dollars per year industry wide.

This application note provides a brief introduction to the basic principles of ESD, the models used to evaluate and characterize electronic devices sensitive to ESD and some precautions for preventing ESD damage. Also included is a bibliography and reference listing informational resources for more in-depth study. This is an informative overview and it is highly recommended that additional, more detailed resources be considered before dealing with ESD and related issues.