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I would like to first prototype a circuit on a solderless breadboard, then later solder those same components to a prototype pcb board in order to make the circuit more permanent.

Some of the components I plan to use are esd sensitive (mostly mosfets and ICs containing mosfets- all with through hole leads). I know that precautions must be taken to prevent electrostatic discharge from my body, tools, and the work surface from damaging the esd sensitive components.

Is there any risk of electrostatic discharge from the sockets of the solderless breadboard damaging the esd sensitive components?

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For hobbyist use, no risk. This ESD stuff is for people who build thousands of devices a day with hundreds of components and cannot allow a batch of them to fail. As a hobbyist, if you really killed a part because of ESD (never happened to me in 25 years of happy hacking), you throw it away and get the next one.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That makes sense as a general rule, but I would like to know more specifically if the amount of conductive material that makes up the interconnected sockets on a breadboard could hold enough charge to damage esd sensitive components when they are inserted into the sockets. Would it be possible for the conductive material within the sockets to even get charged in the first place? I may be worrying about nothing but I'm interested in the theory of these situations none the less. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tristan A
    Oct 25 '16 at 7:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Uh, you got this wrong. Conductive material doesn't hold a substantial ESD charge, non-conductive materials do. That's because the electron mobility is so low in non-conductive materials the electrons cannot flow into the mass itself and stick at the surface. Where you pick them up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janka
    Oct 25 '16 at 7:50
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There is No significantly different ESD precautions for breadboards compared to any other work surface.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I used to burn out TTL with ESD in my early days before CMOS came out. Since then I measured myself with 200Vdc static just by grounding myself to 0V then raising one leg V=Q/C by the change in body capacitance and your finger tip is only 100pF but your hand > xxxx pF \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24 '16 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Passerby, I know that for an esd mat the "precaution" would be to ground it to earth ground through appropriate resistance so I suppose you could momentarily connect each row of breadboard sockets momentarily to earth ground before inserting esd sensitive components (similarly to the way you might touch earth ground with your body periodically if working without a wrist strap). But I feel like this might be ridiculous overkill, hence my original question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tristan A
    Oct 25 '16 at 7:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tony Stewart, what did you use to measure the static voltage, an electrostatic voltmeter? Sounds like many fun experiments could be conducted with one of those in the toolkit! \$\endgroup\$
    – Tristan A
    Oct 25 '16 at 7:16

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