Electrostatic discharge. The movement of static electricity, e.g. sparks, from a non-conductive surface to an approaching conductive object that can damage or destroy semiconductors and other circuit components. Static electricity can build on paper, plastic or other non-conductors and can be discharged by human skin, e.g. finger, contact. It can also be generated by scuffing shoes on a carpet or by brushing a non-conductor. MOSFETs and CMOS logic ICs are especially vulnerable because it causes internal local heating that melts or fractures the dielectric silicon oxide that insulates gates from other internal structures.