Old 03-04-2013, 06:05 PM #1
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Lightbulb ESD generator

I ordered this ESD gun for work a month ago and it's finally here.
For those of you who don't know, ESD guns produce special high voltage pulses with carefully taylored parameters like peak voltage, rise and fall times, pulse shape, etc., emulating real world ESD events in various industries. For instance, to get the well known CE mark on final products in EU, the product itself has to go through a wide array of costly EMC tests, of which immunity to electrostatic events is probably one of the hardest to pass.
The ESD3000 gun that arrived today is equipped for IEC61000-4-2 system level esd testing. It can generate negative and positive pulses with amplitude from 200v to 16kV (10kV for contact discharge) with subnanosecond rise/fall times.
Fast transients like that can upset electronic equipment in many unpredictable ways.

Take for instance your average metal host with laser diode and driver inside. what would happen if you are charged and you zap the metal barrel with static electricity? Hopefully nothing too bad. Now, what would happen if you touch some of the innards, like battery terminal, driver, the diode itself? Considering that probably none of the driver modules proliferating here is protected, something may suffer damage or deterioration.

How about LPMs with all those exposed parts? what would happen if you zap the TEC? The pulse will arrive straight into the input of the op amp and possibly arc over to adjacent components. electronic components are usually rated for some level of esd immunity using the human body model. The immunity HBM-compliance provides, however, is totally inadequate for system level esd protection and unless some external measures are taken, many such electronic components would fail or degrade under real world ESD events occurring during everyday usage of electronic equipment.

Anyway, now that this new toy is available, i'll be zapping many products never before exposed to such tests and see where we /our company/ are, which is probably not too far in that regard.
Needless to say, though, the first object to experience negative and positive 16kV pulses was my hand. The second--the belly of a co-worker ... The sensation a human feels isnt all that shocking, but a submicrometre structure on a silicon chip or a facet of an LD would definitely be fried in the few tens of ns it takes the pulse to deliver its energy.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:27 AM #2
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Default Re: ESD generator

Sounds like an over-priced piezo electric ignitor.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:48 AM #3
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Default Re: ESD generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
Sounds like an over-priced piezo electric ignitor.
Nonononon. That's a huge understatement. xD

It can change the amount of time the spark exists for, the specific voltage it outputs...

Basically, a REALLY fancy piezo electric ignitor.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:05 AM #4
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Default Re: ESD generator

6k€, to be precise.
i have done esd testing with piezo frm a lighter for 0.6€. while it does cause destruction, i did not have any repeatability.
anyway, the next thing on the list is a spectrum analyzer and an aneochoic chamber
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