We have shown that power-up transients induced by the interaction of high wire lead inductance and low capacitor equivalent series resistance (ESR) can be destructively large. The phenomenon can be especially frustrating for those getting started in electronics because the mere application of power, even with the correct polarity and with a seemingly safe voltage, can destroy a circuit before it ever begins functioning. Repeated voltage spikes outside of maximum ratings can also gradually weaken components, leading to early failure that is difficult to explain: a circuit might function normally for some time before unexpectedly failing after a power cycle.
We hope that this application note raises awareness of the issue and presents practical techniques for avoiding the transients in your future projects. We would appreciate your feedback; if you have any comments, please post them to this forum topic.