Static electricity damaging modern touch screens?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Razor Concepts, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Razor Concepts

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    Can static electricity damage modern capacitive touch screen devices?
     
  2. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    That is a really good question, one for which I don't have any answers. My suspicion is yes.
     
  3. mcgyvr

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    yes...low impedance path to ground is required.
     
  4. R!f@@

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    If yes....I wonder what will happen to i phones.
     
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

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    Probably nothing as I'm sure they have taken the necessary design measures like TVS/ESD diodes,etc...
     
  6. CVMichael

    Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2007
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    Amm... doesn't the device need to be grounded (at some point) in order for the static electricity to pass through, and therefore damage it ?

    For example, with a monitor it makes sense, because it takes the power from the grid, so when you touch the screen, the static charge goes through the screen and then through the grid.

    With the iphone, you hold it in your pocket, and the charge builds together with you, there is nothing to make the charge flow through the iphone... right ? probably it will damage at the moment you put it on the table, then the charge flows through it...
     
  7. R!f@@

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    But it doesn't.
    I have a i phone.
    Does i phone use a capacitive touch screen?
     
  8. mcgyvr

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  9. Wendy

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    Hard grounds are not needed for ESD, but it can make them worse. Anytime you have metal that is part of the circuit exposed you can have a killer ESD event, but I suspect most of them will be latent, which is another way of saying your electronics will die for no apparent reason later.

    ElectroStatic Discharge
     
  10. Ghar

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
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    Static just needs a voltage difference between two objects.
    Your body's voltage and the voltage of the iPhone are probably different. Most tables aren't grounded and neither are cars and doorknobs but you still get shocks with them.

    The ESD current will flow through the capacitance to the environment. In the iPhone the biggest capacitance should be the big metal back plate.
    Just having the plate is apparently quite a bit of protection because it's inbetween the electronics and the environment, reducing the electronics' capacitance while having a larger capacitance itself.
     
  11. R!f@@

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    I did not follow you :confused:
     
  12. Ghar

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
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    It's like a capacitor with one plate being the iPhone and the other plate being the environment around you.

    esd.png

    To go through the electronics the current would go through the two series capacitors, which is a smaller capacitance (higher impedance) than either individual capacitance.
    The chassis-ground capacitance is the lowest impedance there so most ESD current should go through it.

    If the electronics are clamped to the chassis with TVS diodes or whatever the board will rise in voltage with the chassis and there shouldn't be any damaging voltage differences across the board itself.

    At least, that's my understanding after reading some stuff on ESD... I haven't really practiced any of this yet.
     
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