Electrets in condenser microphones are typically made from varieties of Teflon. This work evaluates different formulations and thicknesses of vapor deposited Parylene electrets as potential alternatives to Teflon. Parylene-coated condenser backplates used in this study were obtained from two different suppliers, as a third variable in addition to formulation and thickness. Long-term charge stability of the electrets was tested with a thermally stimulated discharge (TSD) method. Charge stability was also evaluated by building the charged backplates into condenser microphones and running them through environmental accelerated-life testing. Standard PTFE and FEP Teflon backplates were used as controls in these tests. The experiments showed clear differences in the long-term charge stability of the Parylene electrets due to thickness, formulation, and supplier. Several combinations of thickness, formulation, and supplier were found to perform comparably to traditional Teflon electrets and appear suitable for use in high-end condenser microphones.
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March 01 2023
Benjamin J. Grigg; Parylene as an electret for condenser microphones. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 March 2023; 153 (3_supplement): A144. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0018447
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