CITRIS Seminar: Electrostatic Discharge Causes Soft and Hard Failures: How to Characterize, Model and Protect?

Speaker Name: 
David Pommerenke
Speaker Title: 
Professor and IEEE Fellow
Speaker Organization: 
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Start Time: 
Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 1:30pm
End Time: 
Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 3:00pm
E2 599
Michael Wehner


ESD can cause soft failures and damaging hard failures.  To ensure functionality of a system which is exposed to ESD, the threat level, the coupling path, and the robustness of the ICs needs to be known.  Based on this, protection methods can be implemented.  This is especially difficult with reduced CMOS process feature size.  ESD protection is needed for handling during manufacturing, placement and at the customer site.  However, wafer cost per square area is increasing, and ESD protection is often current density limited.  Only the on-going reduction of the protection levels keeps the cost for on-chip ESD protection constant.  This is not an issue in well controlled manufacturing and placement environments, however, especially high speed interfaces such as USB 3.1 need external PCB based protection to avoid damage at the customer site.

The talk will explain:

   -  The treat level for different discharge situations, such as charged humans, inserting cables, and the risk to body worn medical equipment.

   -  Soft and hard failure characterization, and modeling methods.

   -  The complex transient interaction between the two protection devices and discuss consequences for future ESD protection devices.

Further, to provide an overview on on-going challenges in EMC, a set of examples will be provided which include full-wave simulations for ESD, noise in data centers, the creation of harmonics on metal-to-metal junctions causing interference from 800 MHz GSM into WiFi and Bluetooth, and the visualization of coupling paths.


Dr. David Pommerenke received his Diploma and Ph.D. from the Technical University Berlin, Germany.  His research interests are system level ESD, electronics, numerical simulations, EMC measurement methods and instrumentations. He received the Ph.D. from the Technical University Berlin, Germany in 1996.  After working at Hewlett Packard for 5 years he joined the Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory at the Missouri University of S&T in 2001, where he is professor.  He has published more than 130 journal papers and is inventor on 13 patents.  His main research interests are measurement/instrumentation ESD, and EMC.  He is IEEE fellow and associated editor for the IEEE Transactions on EMC.