Electrostatic discharge

Sudden flow of electric current between 2 electrically charged objects by contact

ESD simulators may be used to test electronic devices, for example with a human body model or a charged device model.

The most spectacular form of ESD is the spark, which occurs when a heavy electric field creates an ionized conductive channel in air. This can cause minor discomfort to people, severe damage to electronic equipment, and fires and explosions if the air contains combustible gases or particles.

Sparks are an ignition source in combustible environments that may lead to catastrophic explosions in concentrated fuel environments. Most explosions can be traced back to a tiny electrostatic discharge, whether it was an unexpected combustible fuel leak invading a known open air sparking device, or an unexpected spark in a known fuel rich environment. The result is the same if oxygen is present and the three criteria of the fire triangle have been combined.

Manufacturers and users of integrated circuits must . ESD prevention can be part of the device itself and include special design techniques for device input and output pins. External protection components can also be used with circuit layout.

Other standardized ESD test circuits include the machine model (MM) and transmission line pulse (TLP).