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The extensive use in semiconductor fabs of plastics and ceramics for their chemical resistance, low humidity for corrosion control, and the continual movement of inventory, machinery, and human operators combine to make a potent recipe for disaster. The motion of one material against another can result in a charge being transferred between them in a process called tribocharging. If the materials are electrically insulating and in a low-humidity environment, the charge can remain trapped on their surfaces for very long periods. This is referred to as “static electricity” because it is immobile.
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