Failure modes of electronics
Electronic components have a wide range of failure modes. These can be classified in various ways, such as by time or cause. Failures can be caused by excess temperature, excess current or voltage, io...
Current crowding
Current crowding (also current crowding effect, or CCE) is a nonhomogenous distribution of current density through a conductor or semiconductor, especially at the vicinity of the contacts and over the...
Electrical breakdown
Electrical breakdown or dielectric breakdown is a rapid reduction in the resistance of an electrical insulator when the voltage applied across it exceeds the breakdown voltage. This results in a porti...
Electromigration
Electromigration is the transport of material caused by the gradual movement of the ions in a conductor due to the momentum transfer between conducting electrons and diffusing metal atoms. The effect...
Electrostatic discharge
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. A buildup of static electricit...
Latchup
A latchup is a type of short circuit which can occur in an integrated circuit (IC). More specifically it is the inadvertent creation of a low-impedance path between the power supply rails of a MOSFET ...
Thermal runaway
Thermal runaway refers to a situation where an increase in temperature changes the conditions in a way that causes a further increase in temperature, often leading to a destructive result. It is a kin...
Lichtenberg figure
Lichtenberg figures (Lichtenberg-Figuren (German), or "Lichtenberg dust figures") are branching electric discharges that sometimes appear on the surface or in the interior of insulating materials. Lic...
Brush discharge
A brush discharge is a type of corona discharge that takes place between two electrodes embedded in a nonconducting medium (e.g., air at atmospheric pressure) and is characterized by nonsparking, fain...
Direct-current discharge
A direct-current discharge is an electrical discharge, also known as plasma, sustained by a direct current (DC) through an ionized medium, e.g. a gas.Examples of applications of DC discharges include ...
Arc suppression
Arc suppression is the reduction of sparks formed when current-carrying contacts are separated. The spark is a luminous discharge of highly energized electrons and ions, and is an electric arc.
Th...
Corona ring
A corona ring, also called an anti-corona ring, is a toroid of conductive material, usually metal, which is attached to a terminal of high voltage equipment. The role of the corona ring is to distrib...
Townsend discharge
The Townsend discharge is a gas ionization process where free electrons, accelerated by a sufficiently strong electric field, give rise to electrical conduction through a gas by avalanche multiplicati...
Electron avalanche
An electron avalanche is a process in which a number of free electrons in a transmission medium are subjected to strong acceleration by an electric field and subsequently collide with other atoms of t...
Corona discharge
In electricity, a corona discharge is an electrical discharge brought on by the ionization of a fluid surrounding a conductor that is electrically charged. Spontaneous corona discharges occur natural...
Electrical treeing
In electrical engineering, treeing is an electrical pre-breakdown phenomenon in solid insulation. It is a damaging process due to partial discharges and progresses through the stressed dielectric insu...
Electric spark
An electric spark is a type of electrostatic discharge that occurs when an electric field creates an ionized electrically conductive channel in air producing a brief emission of light and sound. A spa...
Zener effect
The Zener effect is a type of electrical breakdown in a reverse biased p-n diode in which the electric field enables tunneling of electrons from the valence to the conduction band of a semiconductor, ...
Arc flash
An arc flash (also called a flashover), which is distinctly different from the arc blast, is part of an arc fault, a type of electrical explosion that results from a low-impedance connection to ground...
Electric discharge
Electric discharge describes any flow of electric charge through a gas, liquid or solid. Electric discharges include:
The properties and effects of electric discharges are useful over a wide range...
Charged-device model
The charged-device model (CDM) is a model for characterizing the susceptibility of an electronic device to damage from electrostatic discharge (ESD). The model is an alternative to the human-body mode...
Pseudospark switch
The pseudospark switch, also known as a cold-cathode thyratron due to the similarities with regular thyratrons, is a gas-filled tube capable of high speed switching. Advantages of pseudospark switches...
Ionized-air glow
Ionized-air glow is the fluorescent emission of characteristic blue–purple–violet light, of color called electric blue, by air subjected to an energy flux.
When energy is deposited to air, the ai...
Voltage regulator tube
A voltage-regulator tube (VR tube) is an electronic component used as a shunt regulator to hold a voltage constant at a pre-determined level.Physically, these devices resemble vacuum tubes, but there ...
Leader (spark)
A leader is a hot, highly conductive channel of plasma that plays a critical part during dielectric breakdown within a long electric spark.
When a gas is subjected to high voltage stress, the elec...
Tesla coil
A Tesla coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit invented by Nikola Tesla around 1891. It is used to produce high-voltage, low-current, high frequency alternating-current electricity. Tesla ...
Breakdown voltage
The breakdown voltage of an insulator is the minimum voltage that causes a portion of an insulator to become electrically conductive.The breakdown voltage of a diode is the minimum reverse voltage to ...
Lightning
Sound of a thunderstorm High-speed, slow-motion lightning video captured at 6,200 frames per second. Four-second video of a lightning strike, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, Un...
Geiger-Müller tube
The Geiger–Müller tube (or G-M tube) is the sensing element of the Geiger counter instrument used for the detection of ionizing radiation. It was named after Hans Geiger, who invented the principle i...
Electric arc
An electric arc, or arc discharge, is an electrical breakdown of a gas that produces an ongoing plasma discharge, resulting from a current through normally nonconductive media such as air. An arc dis...