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Electrostatic discharge protection circuit triggered by capacitive-coupling

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #RE38222.

An electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection circuit connected to an integrated circuit pad for protecting an internal circuit from ESD damage. The ESD protection circuit includes an NMOS/PMOS transistor, a capacitor, and a load The NMOS/PMOS is configured with a drain connected to the IC pad and a source for connection to the circuit V.sub.SS /V.sub.DD. Agate of the NMOS/PMOS transistor is tied to the source. The capacitor is connected between the IC pad and the bulk of the NMOS/PMOS transistor The load, which is either another NMOS/PMOS transistor or a resistor, is to be connected between the V.sub.SS /V.sub.DD and the bulk of the NMOS/PMOS transistor. In accordance with the invention, the NMOS/PMOS transistor is fabricated in a P-well/N-well region of a semiconductor substrate. The capacitor includes an IC pad and a polysilicon layer therebelow, with an intervening dielectric layer.

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