EARLY TRANSISTOR AND DIODE HISTORY

AT BELL LABS

Art Uhlir Jr.

Oral History – (Continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy Bob McGarrah

 

Art Uhlir’s initial assignment at Bell Labs in 1952 was with the Transistor Development Department with the goal of testing the newly developed germanium point contact transistors to characterize performance and establish life tests. Based on the results of this pioneering work, Art published an article in the August 1958 Bell Labs Record, “Point-Contact Transistor Action”.  The two photos shown above are from that article – the rightmost shows Art with the test equipment required to characterize point contact transistor performance.  The photo at the upper left is also from Art’s article and is a drawing illustrating electron and hole flow as occurs during signal amplification by a point contact transistor.  This was a poorly understood phenomenon at the time, and Art’s article provides one of the most lucid explanations yet documented.  The photo to the left shows the “insides” of a Western Electric 2N110 point contact transistor, with the top case removed to show the internal assembly of the metal point contacts pressed against the germanium die.   Point contact transistor technology proved to be unreliable and difficult to manufacture, and was soon replaced by germanium junction transistors.   

 

 

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Go To Uhlir Oral History, Page 4

 

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