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Gerhard M. Sessler

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Gerhard M. Sessler (born 15 February 1931 in Rosenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany)[1] is a German inventor and scientist. He is Professor emeritus at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the Technische Universität Darmstadt.

Together with James E. West, he invented the foil electric microphone[2] at Bell Laboratories in 1962 and together with Dietmar Hohm the silicon microphone in 1983.[3]


First patent on foil electret microphone by G. M. Sessler and J. E. West (pages 1 to 3)
First patent on foil electret microphone by G. M. Sessler and J. E. West (pages 1 to 3)

From 1950 to1959, Sessler studied physics at Universities of Freiburg, Munich, and Göttingen. He received his diploma in 1957 and his Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen in 1959. After working in the United States at Bell Labs until 1975, he returned to the academia in Germany. From 1975 to 2000, he worked as a professor of electrical engineering at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the Technische Universität Darmstadt where he invented the silicon microphone.[3] Since 1999, Sessler is Professor emeritus.

He holds over 100 international patents, among them 18 US-patents. The first one, US 3,118,022, with James E. West, was issued on 14 January 1964.[4]

Sessler is the author/editor of several books on electrets and acoustics. In 2014, together with Ning Xiang, he co-edited a memorial book on Manfred R. Schroeder published by Springer.[5] Furthermore, he is well known for his over 300 scientific papers in prestigious international magazines and journals.

Gerhard Sessler was married to Renate Sessler and has three children: Cornelia, Christine and Gunther.


  • Sessler, G.M.. (2006). Progress in electroacoustic transducer research. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. DOI: 10.1121/1.4787543
  • Sessler, G.M.. (1980). Physical principles of electrets. In: Sessler G.M. (eds) Electrets. Topics in Applied Physics, vol 33. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-540-17335-9, 978-3-540-70750-9
  • Sessler, G.M.. (1981). Piezoelectricity in Polyvinylidene Fluoride. Journal of The Acoustical Society of America - J ACOUST SOC AMER. 70. 10.1121/1.387225.
  • Bauer, Siegfried & Gerhard, Reimund & Sessler, G.M.. (2004). Ferroelectrets: Soft Electroactive Foams for Transducers. Physics Today. 57. 37-43. 10.1063/1.1688068.



  1. ^ Elektroakustik, Fachgebiet. "Gerhard M. Sessler". Fachgebiet Elektroakustik – Technische Universität Darmstadt. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  2. ^ Sessler, G. M.; West, J. E. (1962). "Self-biased condenser microphone with high capacitance". Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 34 (11): 1787–1788. doi:10.1121/1.1909130.
  3. ^ a b Darmstadt, Technische Universität. "Gerhard M. Sessler". Technische Universität Darmstadt (in German). Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  4. ^ [1], "Electroacoustic transducer", issued 1962-05-22 
  5. ^ Ning Xiang and Gerhard M. Sessler: Acoustics, Information, and Communication - Memorial Volume in Honor of Manfred R. SchroederAcoustics, Information, and Communication. 2015. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-05660-9. ISBN 978-3-319-05659-3.
  6. ^ "NIHF Inductee Gerhard Sessler and Electronic Microphone History". Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  7. ^ "Eduard Rhein Stiftung | Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Gerhard M. Sessler". Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  8. ^ "Eduard Rhein Stiftung | Hervorragende Beiträge zur Entwicklung von Schallwandlern sowie insbesondere die Miterfindung des Elektretmikrofons und des Silizium-Kondensatormikrofons". Retrieved 2019-11-01.
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Gerhard M. Sessler
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