Sanford Barnes


Biographic Note


Mr. Sanford (Sandy) Barnes has been active in transistor technology for over 50 years, starting as a young engineer in 1951 with the assignment of producing “hand-made” germanium point contact transistors at Hughes Aircraft.  He has held numerous research and senior management positions with several key companies involved with semiconductor development, including Manager of Transistor Development at Pacific Semiconductors Inc, in 1958 and Manager of Semiconductor Development - TRW in the mid 1960s.  He retired from TRW in 1987, and has since held positions with several other semiconductor companies.  Sandy was very active in semiconductor research in the 1950s and 1960s and was granted multiple patents in key areas of transistor and diode development, including the following:


Patent 2,693,555 (with North and Roach) -

Filed 1951.  “Method and Apparatus for Welding Germanium Diodes”.


Patent 2,736,847 -  Filed 1954.   “Fused Junction Silicon Diodes”.


Patent 2,989,671 (with Mann) - Filed 1958.

“Voltage Sensitive Semiconductor Capacitor”.


The material for this Oral History was developed from personal communications with Sandy in 2003 and from a paper developed by him in 1999 entitled “Greatest Invention of the Century – Birth of the Transistor – First 20 Years – Personal Observations of Sanford (Sandy) Barnes”.




Oral History – Sanford Barnes


Mr. Barnes, would you provide a brief biographic outline of your involvement with semiconductors over the past five decades?


1924 – Born in Santa Monica, Ca.

1942 – U.S. Navy

1946 – 1949  UCLA, B.S. applied Physics

1949-1954  Hughes Aircraft Company

1954 – Joined Pacific Semiconductors, Inc.

1958 – Manager, Transistor Development

1964 – Manager, Semiconductor Development, TRW Semiconductors

1967 – Director, TRW Electronics Group Research and Development labs

1984 – Retired from TRW Semiconductors

1984 – 1987 TRW Components International, Quality Assurance Manager

1989 – Seattle Silicon, Bellevue Wa, Quality Assurance Manager

1992 – IC Designs, Kirkland, Wa, Quality Assurance Manager

1993 – Cypress Semiconductor, Woodinville, Wa, Quality Assurance Manager

2000 – Retired for the 4th time



When and how did you first start working with transistors? 


I was hired by Dr. Harper North at Hughes Aircraft in 1949 to duplicate the work on point contact transistors first started at Bell Labs a couple of years earlier.   There is a detailed account of my work on point contact transistors at Hughes in my paper “Birth of the Transistor – First 20 Years”,


Go To Barnes Oral History, Page 2


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