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Crystal Fire Part II


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Part 2 of 3 on the book, "Crystal Fire" by Michael Riordan & Lillian Hoddeson

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Crystal Fire Part II

  1. 1. The Road to Discovery
  2. 2. At Bell Laboratories <ul><li>Brattain and Becker focus on vacuum tube replacement </li></ul><ul><li>Cu/CuO x rectification </li></ul><ul><li>European competition (Schottky) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Rectification Barrier Barrier
  4. 4. Bell Labs hires Shockley <ul><li>Main goal, according to Kelly is to develop electronic replacements to vacuum tubes </li></ul><ul><li>Conceives idea whereby copper and copper oxide mesh can be used to regulate devices via rectification </li></ul><ul><li>Devices constructed by Brattain, none worked </li></ul>
  5. 5. Breakthrough with Silicon <ul><li>Russell Ohl </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Silicon sensitive to S-type radar waves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amazing behavior of silicon sample when exposed to light </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brattain thought it was a trick, joked that electrical current must be created at an internal barrier </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Silicon Rectifiers <ul><li>Silicon samples were erratic in behavior </li></ul><ul><li>When manufactured, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find hot spot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tested, and only best would be used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No consistent method to produce consistent results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Later, du Pont produces 99.99% pure silicon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientists begin doping this new material to produce P or N type material </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. US enters World War II after Pearl Harbor attack <ul><li>Brattain begins work on magnetic detection of submarines </li></ul><ul><li>Bardeen develops methods of mine avoidance for oceanic vessels </li></ul><ul><li>Shockley focused upon statistical applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Convoy deployment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depth charge kill ratio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>X-type radar system implementation in B-29 bombers </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. End of World War II <ul><li>Kelly shakes up Bell Labs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reorganizes Bell Labs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solid State Physics Group: Shockley & Morgan head group including Brattain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Short time later, John Bardeen is hired into the group. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Field Effect <ul><li>Shockley’s Frustration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After working on an idea based upon Ohl’s earlier work, Shockley develops Silicon based device </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Device fails, and subsequently Shockley abandons further investigation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bardeen suggests Surface state </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work with Brattain leads to use of electrolytes around metal-semiconductor junction, with some success. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggests field effect may be detected in germanium </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Transistor is Born Brattain & Gibney observe field effect in silicon sample; amplified effect when electrolytes are used Bardeen suggests n-type germanium; discover method to raise minority carrier population in n-layer Increase frequency response by allowing direct metal-semiconductor slab contact, eliminating “gu”. Now able to amplify power & voltage at a high frequency response Shockley proposes applying voltage through “gu” at the p-n junction rather than point contacts; Brattain anxious to attempt, but gets the flu and experiment is forgotten.
  11. 11. The Veil of Secrecy Descends <ul><li>Kelly clamps lid down tight at Bell labs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General public would first hear about the device months later </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pressure builds to protect patentable material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Purdue group on the cusp of similar discovery </li></ul></ul></ul>