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Electrostatic Discharge and Electrical Overstress: Guide

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Electrostatic Discharge and Electrical Overstress: Guide

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the transfer of electrical charge between two bodies at different potentials, either through direct contact or through an induced electrical field. It is the phenomenon that gives you a mild shock when you walk across a carpeted floor and then touch a doorknob.

ESD costs the electronics industry millions of dollars each year in damaged components, nonfunctional circuit boards, and scrambled or missing information. A malfunction in these components or boards can occur immediately or the apparatus could perform for weeks, months, or even years before an unpredictable and premature breakdown causes a field failure.

Preventing ESD can be relatively easy and inexpensive. Two areas of focus are:
• Eliminating static charges from the workplace
• Properly shielding components and assemblies from static fields

Damage to a component’s circuitry from overheating is called electrical overstress (EOS). The amount of damage caused by EOS depends on the magnitude and duration of electrical transient pulse widths.

Common causes of EOS include incorrect device orientation, lack of power line conditioners, and improper equipment grounding. EOS prevention includes proper testing of components and boards, use of high-quality power supplies, and an equipment maintenance program.

Read the full Electrostatic Discharge and Electrical Overstress: Guide.