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The release of built-up static electricity, especially solid state electronics, like integrated circuits, when two objects, which are at different potentials come into contact, is called an electrostatic discharge. Insulating materials and semi-conductors make these circuits, which can cause damages because of the high voltages. Static electricity is mainly an electrical charge at rest; hence its build up can be prevented by the help of antistatic devices.
Electrostatic discharge can be caused by static electricity, which generates often through tribo charging. Tribo charging results from the friction that takes place when the materials with electric charges connect and then separate from each other. In the process, there is the creation of a different electrical potential which leads to an electrostatic discharge (Kaiser, 2006.)
Another cause is an electrostatic induction, which happens when the conductive object comes close to an electrically charged insulator. The electrically charged object makes an electrostatic field causing electrical charges on the conductive object. The buildup of the electrostatic charges occur as a result of electron imbalance on the materials surface, hence developing a field of electric that has measurable effects on other objects at a distance. The regions of excess positive and negative charges are created even without change in the net electrostatic charge of the object. If the object contacts with a conductive path, an electrostatic discharge may occur.
One form of electrostatic discharge is a spark. It occurs when strong electric field produces a conductive ionized channel in the air. Sparks triggers when the strength of electric field exceeds the dielectric field strength of air which is an approximate of 4–30 kV/cm. The air may temporarily become an electrical conductor due to a rapid increase in number of free electrons and ions. This process is the dielectric breakdown (Greason, 1992).
Many electrostatic discharges happen without an audible or visible sparkle, and this can cause less evident degradation forms. These may result in the long term of performance and reliability of the devices. These sparks can also cause outright device failure and serious explosions due to the high temperatures reached in them.
Another type is the corona discharge which occurs between highly curved electrodes. High curvature produces a high potential gradient around one electrode. This discharge occurs if the electric field potential gradient around the conductor is high to form a conductive region. The brush discharge is an example of corona discharge, occurring between two electrodes embedded in a non-conducting medium. Non-sparking ionized particles characterize the discharge.
Electrostatic discharge can be controlled by elimination of charge build-up, through the use of materials that have little tendency of generating static charges on the working area. These are the static dissipative and antistatic materials. The equipments need to be free of the moving parts that can generate charges. Safe dissipation of charge accumulation involves the suitable electrical path provision to allow charge flow to the ground. Electrostatic discharge can also be controlled through shielding by separating insulative and conductive materials with electrical resistance materials. These materials can be either surface or volume resistant. In case of newly generated charges, use of ionizers neutralizes them to prevent the buildup of charges. Static charges generated by personnel could be minimized through the use of electrostatic discharge safe apparel and also minimization of working area movements (McAteer, 1990).
In general, controlling and preventing the electrostatic discharge depends on the electrostatic protective area. The area’s main principle is that in the vicinity of electrostatic discharge sensitive electronics there are no highly charging materials. There is also grounding workers and conductive materials. In establishing a protection for electrostatic discharge, there is a need to reference to the standard voltage.
Statement of Purpose
Southern Polytechnic State University is a public educational state university, which is a part of the university system of Georgia. It is a well known institution in offering engineering courses. Taking Master’s Degree in the university is so much convenient, since the university even offers its courses online.
This university gives students a chance and opportunity to develop essential skills and knowledge, because it creates an appropriate learning environment. It has an engineering technology center, which supports the electrical engineering program among others. It supports students from different background, promoting cultural diversity and allowing them to access high quality education. Because of high quality education provided by this university, all students gain adequate skills and knowledge, which makes them highly competitive in the labor market and flexible in the changing working environment.
The university gives equal opportunities to all students regardless of their financial status, religion, race or country of origin. The university also offers Master’s Degrees online, which makes it easy and convenient to study from home even with a busy inflexible schedule. It is ideal for people who have tight working schedules or who travel a lot. As a pioneer institution in engineering technology, it is highly reputable, and its graduates are extremely marketable in the labor market.
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