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An experimental investigation of indirect electrostatic discharge (ESD) events for an inline three-body geometry was undertaken. Using conducting cylinders of different sizes to model the test system's conductors, capacitance coefficients were measured; body potential differences and electric fields in air gaps were calculated for different geometries of the three floating conductors in close proximity. The test geometry was chosen to model the approach of the charged human body to an electronic system that has a neighboring floating conductor. The possibility of primary and secondary discharges was studied for various body sizes and test geometries. The results of this work provide a better understanding of the fundamental principles involved in the ESD event involving three bodies separated by small gaps. The methodology may have application in analyzing ESD events in small-gap structures including microelectromechanical systems (MEMSs).
Date of Publication: Jan.-Feb. 2006