Effect of Different Load Impedances on ESD Generators and ESD Generator SPICE Models

Sen Yang, David J. Pommerenke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The electrostatic discharge (ESD) generator calibration described in IEC 61000-4-2 (2008) only specifies contact mode discharge waveforms for the discharge-into-ground scenario. However, the actual device under test input impedance often differs from a short. To study the effect of different load impedances, a test method for ESD generator discharge under different load impedances is proposed. The method only slightly modifies the present calibration setup. The data show that the peak current variation between different brands of ESD generators for nonshorted load impedances is within the tolerance range given by the standard for the peak current. On the other hand, when performing system-efficient ESD design simulations, the load impedance seen by the ESD generator models is also different than a short. Therefore, the discharge current of a variety of ESD generator models is simulated with different load impedances and compared with ESD generator measurement results, which allows the selection of a suitable ESD generator model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8252785
Pages (from-to)1726-1733
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrostatic discharge (ESD) generator calibration
  • IEC 61000-4-2
  • SPICE model
  • system-efficient ESD design (SEED)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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