A Transistor Museum Interview with Jack Haenichen

The Development of the 2N2222 – The Most Successful and Widely Used Transistor Ever Developed.


Oral History – Jack Haenichen

Jack, when did you start work for Motorola, and where was this?


I got there in October, 1959 and they were just starting in the semiconductor business.  They had built a small research facility a couple of years prior on 56th St. in Phoenix.  The principal investigator there was a guy named Bill Taylor, who was a really smart fellow.  By the time I got there they had made some devices, but all their early work was in germanium.  A lot of folks started that way, because that’s what Walt Brattain was working on at Bell Labs.  He was doing work on point contact diodes, and when he was tinkering around, he “accidentally” made a transistor – then Bill Shockley and John Bardeen, both theorists, came in and provided a scientific explanation of what he had done.  So germanium was what people started with, but it was widely recognized that any Group IV element would work.  Other people started playing around with silicon.         



So, when you started at Motorola in 1959, they were only making germanium transistors?


Only germanium.  About that time, Texas Instruments had been sampling some silicon devices; these were not the modern planar transistors – they were alloy junction, as I recall. They were not the stuff of Jean Hoerni and Bob Noyce at Fairchild.



Go To Haenichen Oral History, Page 3



Oral History – Jack Haenichen




The above is an introductory section of an article by Jack Haenichen from the July 1967 issue of Electronics World magazine.  This was a “Special Issue” of the magazine dedicated to Transistor technology, which was less than 20 years after the discovery of the transistor at Bell Labs in 1947. Jack’s article provided an excellent overview of the state of the art in transistor technology, with the following lead-in: “Annular, mesa, epitaxial, interdigitated – what do all these terms mean? When should a diffused transistor be selected?  The answers are supplied in this article.”  In 1967, Jack’s prior work at Motorola on the annular technology had been recognized across the industry as a major breakthrough and had directly contributed to Motorola’s success as a premier transistor company.






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