International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

June 2012


Taming electrostatics

New Chairman for IEC TC 101

SMB (Standardization Management Board) has approved the nomination of Paul Holdstock as Chairman of IEC TC (Technical Committee) 101: Electrostatics. Holdstock began his 6-year term on the 1st May 2012.

Understanding electrostatic phenomena

Electrostatic phenomena are caused mainly by the charge retention properties of insulating materials and may lead to electronic devices being damaged and an increase of risk of explosion in flammable atmospheres.


As smaller electronic devices such as NEMS (nanoelectromechanical systems) and MEMS (mcro-electromechanical systems) take off, it becomes increasingly important to understand and control electrostatic phenomena. Because of their size, these tiny electronic components can become permanently damaged even by very low electrostatic discharges.


TC 101 provides guidance on evaluating the generation, retention and dissipation of electrostatic charges and writes methods for simulating electrostatic phenomena for testing purposes. It also writes requirements for the design and implementation of handling areas, procedures, equipment, and materials used to reduce or eliminate electrostatic hazards and effects.

About Paul Holdstock

Paul Holdstock is Managing Director of Holdstock Technical Services and has been involved as Project Team Leader and Member in a number of WGs (Working Groups) and MTs (Maintenance Teams). He holds a PhD from Bolton Institute/University of Manchester.


  • Paul Holdstock is the new Chairman of TC 101
  • Because of their small size MEMS can easily be damaged by electrostatic discharges (Photo: Bosch)
  • TC 101 writes requirements for the reduction and eliminiaton of electrostatic hazards


Related article


Find out more about MEMS in our March 2012 article 'MEMS now big in consumer electronics'.


Find out more