What is an Ionizer?

Digi-key Ionizers

Ionizers also called static ionizer or static eliminator cleans the air and neutralizes static charge found on surfaces. Ionizers work by sending positive and negative ions into the air. These ions can attach to opposite charged particles in the air and on surfaces. Once the ions are on the surfaces of workstations and equipment the static electricity that has built up is neutralized. Some of these particles can cling to the nearest wall or ceiling.

Why would you use an ionizer?

The ionizer itself neutralizes static electricity which is a handy tool if you’re working on electronics and the components. Many electronic components are sensitive to even the smallest amount of static. This tool, along with other electronic workspace essentials will ensure the components are safe. Ionizers are meant to work in small spaces or single workstations to be efficient. Since ionizers can clean particles out of the air it is considered a type of air purifier and is used in homes without the need for neutralizing static.

Why use an ionizer over a regular air purifier?

Although they are both considered air purifiers it’s hard to compare them both. Some small comparisons can be used but in the end, they can work together. Ionizers do not use filters removing the need to buy and change filters, regular air purifiers you have to maintain the filter. The cons to this are the ionizer particles cling to surfaces and stay there until cleaned. You can either wipe down the surfaces, use a charged plate to collect or work with a regular air purifier that collects into a filter. Ionizers tend to use more power than a regular air purifier. Some companies have combined ionizers and air purifiers in a single unit.

One important problem Ionizers have is they produce ozone which is obviously something we don’t want around us. That’s why the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has established a standard of 0.05 parts per million (ppm) of ozone emission. Anything not to this standard are more harmful to you. This is why combining an ionizer and air purifier together can work together and get the particles out of the air quicker.

To find ozone emission we will use the 9110-NO benchtop ionizer from SCS as an example:


To find the ozone information we will need to find it on the datasheet

The ozone level is found on page 4 for the 9110-NO:


As you can see ozone levels for the 9110-NO are less than .05 ppm.

Types of Ionizers:

There are a few different types of ionizers for different situations.

Benchtop Ionizers- The 9110-NO from SCS above is a standard benchtop ionizer and is meant for the workstation they are on. These will neutralize the table and any tools or equipment. Not meant for full-sized rooms. The benchtop can also be portable or wall mount.

Overhead Ionizer – Overhead ionizers are used to put over a workstation or used as a shower of ions into the room. Many electronic labs use these; as a worker comes in they use the ionizer which showers ions on the person and neutralizes the clothing and sends particles to the ground.

Ionizer Air Gun – Exactly how the name suggests it shoots ionized air where a person needs it.

Chassis Mount Ionizers- Used in automation lines to neutralize certain places sensitive components are traveling on. Panasonic has their ER-X032 ionizer and provides a great picture to understand how they work.

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