The discharge current and the transient fields of an electrostatic discharge (ESD) generator in the contact mode are numerically simulated using the finite-difference time-domain method. At first the static field is established. Then the conductivity of the relay contact is changed, which initiates the discharge process. The simulated data are used to study the effect of design choices on the current and fields. They are compared to measured field and current data using multidecade broadband field and current sensors. The model allows accurate prediction of the fields and currents of ESD generators, thus it can be used to evaluate different design choices.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Laboratory

Keywords and Phrases

E-Field Sensor; FDTD; H-Field Sensor; Charge Measurement; Contact Mode; Current Sensors; Discharge Current; Electric Current Measurement; Electric Field Measurement; Electric Sensing Devices; Electromagnetic Compatibility; Electrostatic Devices; Electrostatic Discharge; Electrostatic Discharge Generators; Finite Difference Time-Domain Analysis; Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method; Multidecade Broadband Field; Numerical Modeling; Numerical Simulation; Relay Contact Conductivity; Simulated Data; Static Field; Transient Fields; Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Generator; Field Sensors; Finite-Difference Time Domain (FDTD)

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0018-9375; 1558-187X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2003 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2003