We have analyzed an electric discharge between wire and planar electrodes with wire diameter and current densities that are typically used in upscaled experimental simulations of the wire bonding process employed in microelectronic manufacturing. A set of continuum conservation equations has been solved to obtain the variation of electric potential, temperature distributions, and the electrode heat fluxes. Results indicate that the main body of the discharge is quasineutral bounded by space charge sheaths at both electrodes. Strong electric fields are concentrated in the electrode sheaths. The heat flux to the wire is sharply peaked near the wire tip but on the plane it decays slowly away from the discharge axis. The model studied here may be used to establish optimum discharge parameters for wire bonding.

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