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Technical Tidbit - June 2013
A Collection of Measurements of ESD Types
(with a short paper by Geoff Weil)

Test setup

Figure 1.
Test Setup for HMM ESD Measurement

Abstract: A collection of measurements by guest contributor, Geoff Weil, is presented that shows characteristics of several different types of ESD including Human Metal Model, bare finger tip (Human Body Model), Charged Device Model, and Furniture discharges. By collecting these measurements all in one document, comparison between the different types of ESD are easy to make.

This Technical Tidbit presents a short paper by Geoff Weil with measurements on different types of ESD. Geoff is an excellent designer especially of analog circuits and especially if they contain high voltage. He designed the well known KeyTek Mini-Zap™ ESD simulator years ago as well as the KeyTek ZapMaster™ and several Electrical Fast Transient generators. He is currently working on voltage-boosted alpha source ionizers and high voltage pulse generators.

Figure 1 shows the test setup used to generate data for Geoff's Human Metal Model (HMM) waveforms. He also discusses bare finger tip discharges (similar to Human Body Model), Charged Device Model, and Furniture discharges in his paper. Click here to view the pdf file. Although the test setup is not strictly identical to that used in standards based ESD testing, it nonetheless give one a good feel for the characteristics of different type of ESD events.

The data for the finger tip discharge is similar to that in the Human Body Model, HBM, industry standard test. A description of how this test relates to other types of ESD testing can be seen in this EDN article.

Furniture discharges vary a lot depending on the physical characteristics of the furniture. In his paper, Geoff describes two possible types, one of which looks a lot like the discharge from a charged transmission line, which the long piece of metal resembles.

Summary: Putting these measurements into one short paper makes a convenient resource for those interested in seeing real ESD discharge characteristics. at least within the limits of the paper (1 kV air discharges with a 1 GHz bandwidth).

Links for this article:
  1. Geoff Weil's paper
  2. EDN article describing different types of ESD testing standards including HBM

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If you like the information in this article and others on this website, much more information is available in my courses. Click here to see a listing of upcoming courses on design, measurement, and troubleshooting of chips, circuits, and systems. Click here to see upcoming seminars in Boulder City, NV.

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Is your product failing ESD testing? Attend my webinar on sources of error in ESD testing. This webinar covers problems and mistakes often made in testing products for ESD compliance that can cause a good product to fail when it should pass. The webinar is given as both a scheduled event and on-demand. Contact me at doug@dsmith.org for more details. Don't let your product fail ESD testing unnecessarily. This webinar is an easy, cost effective solution.
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Copyright 2013 Douglas C. Smith