Common ESD Prevention Techniques

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With all boards/devices susceptible to ESD, it is important to follow standard antistatic handling procedures. As the ESD generally involved with a NanoBoard will be the result of contact with the human body, the following are often considered when creating an electrostatic protection area (EPA) in which to work:

  • Common Point Ground – this is a common ground point to which all elements of the work area (work surface, floor surface, equipment, people) are connected, bringing all to the same electrical potential. Auxiliary grounding (pipes, building frame, etc) must also be connected to this common ground point.
  • Wrist Strap – connected through to the Common Point Ground, it essentially keeps the person wearing it at near-ground potential.
  • ESD-Protective Work Surface – a surface that typically offers a resistance of greater than 1MΩ to ground, and which is connected to the Common Point Ground. Such a surface provides controlled dissipation of static charge built-up on any materials that come into contact with it.
  • ESD-Protective Floor Surface – a protective flooring surface, such as a floor mat or vinyl tiling, connected to the Common Point Ground. Similar to the work surface, it provides a path of dissipation for charge built-up on personnel or equipment in contact with it.
  • Antistatic Chair – a chair with metal casters and a metal footplate, with which to conduct static charge away from a user's body. Ideally, such a chair will be positioned on a an ESD-protective floor surface.
  • Foot Strap – also referred to as a 'soul grounder', it is typically worn over a non-conductive item of footwear. It provides contact with an ESD-protective floor surface, for dissipation of static charge away from the body of the wearer.
  • Conductive Shoes – used in conjunction with an ESD-protective floor surface, such shoes provide electrical contact for dissipation of charge away from the body of the wearer.
  • Antistatic Clothing – clothing itself is typically isolated from the body. As such, electrostatic charge may build up on a person's clothes, even though they are wearing a wrist strap. Static control garments, which are grounded, can be used to minimize the effects of clothing charge.
  • Air Ionization – use of an ionizer, to charge molecules in the air, can be an effective complement to a sound grounding system. Static charge built-up on insulated or isolated objects can be effectively neutralized as the opposite polarity charges are attracted from the air.
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