Electrostatic discharge (ESD) generators are used for testing the robustness of electronics toward ESD. Most generators are built in accordance with the IEC 61000-4-2 specifications. Using only a few parameters, this standard specifies the peak current, the rise time and the falling edge. Lacking a transient field specification, test results vary depending on which generator is used, even if the currents are quite similar. Such a specification is needed to improve the test repeatability. As for the current, the specification should be based on a reference human metal ESD event. While keeping the presently set peak current and rise time values, such a reference ESD (5 kV, 850-µm arc length) is identified and specifications for current derivative, fields, and induced voltages are derived. The reference event parameters are compared to typical ESD generators.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Discharge Current; Electrostatic Discharge (ESD); Field Sensor; Susceptibility; Transient Fields

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2004 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2004