Implementation and Practical Experience with an Automatic Secondary ESD Detection Algorithm


Secondary ESD from a non-grounded decorative metal structure on an electronic device often leads to very large discharge currents and a fast rise time of less than 400 picoseconds. Due to the proximity of this secondary ESD event to the electronics, it is likely to cause soft failures or latch-up. Secondary ESD can be detected in IEC 61000-4-2 setups by monitoring the currents, charge transfer, and sudden current increases due to the secondary ESD. An algorithm has been implemented in a test setup which automatically detects secondary ESD. However, due to pre-pulses, reignition of sparking within the relay, and other effects, the algorithm may lead to false positives and missed secondary ESD. This paper describes the implementation of the algorithm and presents the results of DUT testing.

Meeting Name

2018 IEEE Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Signal Integrity and Power Integrity, EMC, SI and PI 2018 (2018: Jul. 30-Aug. 3, Long Beach, CA)


Electrical and Computer Engineering


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants IIP-1440110.

Keywords and Phrases

Busbars; Charge transfer; Design for testability; Electric discharges; Electric grounding; Electromagnetic compatibility; Electrostatic devices; Signal detection; Current clamps; Detection algorithm; Oscilloscope; Secondary discharges; Time domain measurement; Power supply circuits; ESD; F-65 current clamp; Time-domain measurements

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2018