What is in this article?:
- Electrostatic Discharge: Causes, Effects, and Solutions
- SIDEBAR: What Is Static Electricity?
Many items in today's workplace can store thousands of volts in electrostatic charges. Yet, it only takes 25 electrostatic volts to irreparably damage an integrated circuit.
SIDEBAR: What Is Static Electricity?
It's the accumulation of positive or negative charges on insulators or conductors. These charges can vary, based on the stored capacitance of certain items with respect to an object having a corresponding opposite charge. The word static simply means the charge cannot be equalized or transferred through electromotive force until there is a decrease in the capacitance between two objects. An example of this can be your hand (which may hold a negative charge) as it approaches a doorknob (which may hold a positive charge). As your hand moves closer to the doorknob, the capacitance between the object and your hand will decrease. This results in a flow of current between your hand and the doorknob. This transfer is known as electrostatic discharge, or ESD.