The intensive searching for a reliable semiconductor device
to amplify feeble electric signals, which gave bith to the
modern solid-state components, was the saga of many scientists,
engineers and inventors. Due to the importance of their pioneering
work among them are:
|Edouard Branly working at his laboratory
circa end of XIX century.
Was born in Amiens, France in October 23rd 1884.
He completed his studies at the Ecole Normal Supéreure,
in Paris. At Sorbonne he worked in the physics laboratory and
won his Doctor in Physics degree. In his studies of electrical
conductivity, he observed that some materials, in powder form,
were affected in their electrical conductivity by electromagnetic
In 1885, he invented the coherer, the first Hertzian wave detector.
Edouard Branly passed way in March 24th 1940 in Paris.
Viennese physicist. In 1933 won the Nobel Prize together
with P.A. Dirac for his contribution in the new theory of undulatory
mechanics applied on the atom structure.
Greenleaf Whittier Pickard
Electrical engineer educated at Harvard
University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1903
he started his researches about the application of minerals
as Hertzian waves detectors. During his studies he evaluated
many types of natural materials concluding that Galena proved
to be the best type of detector although it lacked ruggedness
and stability. Besides his discovery of the principle of Hertzian
waves detection using crystals he invented also the "Perikon"
detector, made by pressing Zinc Oxide and Chalcopyrite. Pickard
worked as a consulting engineer and had more than 100 patents
to his credit.
Jack St. Clair Kilby
Was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, USA. He started his carrer
in Electronics working as engineers in the Gobe-Union company
manufacturer of radio receivers. In 1958 working in the micro
miniaturization department of Texas Instruments he invented
the integrated circuit.
American physicist from Maison, Wisconsin. In 1908 he achieved
his Ph.D. in Solid-State Physics from Princenton University.
He was the author of the superconductivity theory as well as
one of the co-inventors of transistor. In 1956 he shared the
Nobel Price with William Shcockley and Walter House Brattain.
Walter House Brattain
One of the co-inventors of transistor. He achieved his Ph.D
in Physics from Minnesota University when he had the opportunity
to attend to several lectures about the new field of Quantum
Mechanics presented by several-respected scientists such as
Edwin Schrodinger, James Franck. In 1929 he started his work
at Bell Telephone laboratories in the field of thermionic emission
as well as other material surface properties. Considering his
expertise in Solid-State Physics in 1931 he was appointed to
work with J.A.Backer for the development of a Copper Oxide rectifier.
Was born in July 23, 1886, in Zurich Switzerland. He studied
Physics at Humboltt University in Berlin. In 1912 after receiving
his Ph.D., Schottky moved to Jena, Germany, where he worked
with Max Wien and soon he started his studies about the interaction
of electrons and ions in vacuum and solid bodies.
In 1919 working at Simens Company he invented the tetrode valve.
After several years of researches and studies in 1929 he published
the book: "Thermodynamik".
Through his enormous research work about smiconductor materials,
in 1938 he created a theory that explained the rectifying behaviour
of a metal-semiconductor contact as dependent on a barrier layer
at the surface of contact between the two materials. The metal
semiconductor diodes later built on the basis of this theory
are known as barrier diodes. Walter Schottky passed way in Pretzfeld,
Germany in March 4th 1976.
William Bradford Schockley
American physicist was born in London, England in 1910. He studied
with John Slater a pioneer of Quantum Mechanics. Just after
starting his researches on the Solid-State Physics at Bell Laboratories,
in 1936 he was awarded a doctorate in Physics from Massachussets
Institute of Technology. Schockley was one of the co-inventors