PB2009.08 A Measurement Technique for ESD Current Spreading on A PCB using Near Field Scanning

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Abstract — Electrostatic discharge (ESD) can cause interference or damage in circuits in many ways e.g., by E- or Hfield coupling or via conduction paths. Although we can roughly estimate the voltage and current at the injection point during an ESD event, the real offending parameter is mostly the ESD current spreading throughout the system. Those currents can be simulated if great simplifications of the system are accepted.
However, even in moderately complex systems the ability to simulate is limited by lack of models and computational resources. Independent of the complexity, but obviously not free of its own limitations is a measurement technique that captures the current as a function of time and location through the system.
This article describes the proof on concept of ESD such a measurement technique that allows reconstructing the spreading current as a movie from magnetic field measurements. It details the technique, question of probe selection and how to process the data to present the current spread as a movie.