Having had a lot of hassle with ESD inflicted damage of circuitry I'd like to add my 2 cents.
There are a lot of methods described in other answers which will work for sure to generate discharges which can damage electronics. But what exactly is it you want to know?
If you cannot measure or reproduce the damaging event with some exactness, the gain of knowledge is going to be limited.
The damage depends on a lot of variables:
- Series resistance in discharge circuit
- Behaviour of surrounding circuit
- Possible pre-damage of compontents due to other ESD events or different stresses
Furthermore it is very difficult to find out, if you have successfully inflicted any damage. Single MOSFETs may show significant change of gate resistance upon a single ESD event. But little more complex device are very difficult to analyse and may hide an initial damage until they are completely broken by other events or other consequent deterioration to happen.
What I want to express is:
- Before fiddling and trying to damage your board cleary define, what exactly you want to find out
- Design your experiment in a way you can repeat. E.g. by measuring your ESD source, or even probing the damage capability with a set of identical MOSFETs (not that expensive)
- Make sure your device hasn't been damaged in advance (can be very very difficult)
- Make sure you have reliable means to detect a damage
If you do not take those measures, the outcome of your experiment will be mostly useless in my eyes or the rationale might be reduced to "hey, they always were talking about this so called ESD damage. I tortured my board and I think perhaps there is such thing as ESD damage. Perhaps, probably, eeeh, perhaps."