Mr. Norman H. Ditrick received
his BS and MS degrees in Physics from Ohio State University in 1952. He joined RCA as a specialized trainee I
June of 1952. Norm worked on a variety
of early transistor and semiconductor technolgy, including point contact
transistors, audio junction transistors, IF frequency transistors for early
radios, drift transistors for RF applications, and tunnel diodes, all in
germanium. He was involved in
building experimental gallium arsenide devices, including junction
transistors and tunnel diodes. He
was also active in silicon
technology, with early MOS and CMOS ICs, Charge Coupled Devices, and rad
hardened CMOS for use in rockets and spacecraft. Over a 36 year RCA career, from June 1952 until May 1988,
Norm wrote numerous technical papers and was issued four U.S. patents.
This is a scan of early germanium pieces that Norm Ditrick
developed as part of his device work at RCA. On the right is a “blank” of boat-grown germanium that would
have been processed into a number of early alloy junction transistors, such
as type 2N139. On the left are two experimental tunnel diodes, using the
unique RCA “low –inductance” packaging.
The two objects in the center are arrays of tunnel diode pellets
which have not yet been cut into individual devices.
Oral History – Norm Ditrick
This Oral History was taken in June 2001.
I graduated from Ohio State
University, completing a five-year Masters program in Engineering
Physics. I received the BS first in
June, 1952, and the MS in August, 1952 – the MS was a few months later than
the BS because I hadn’t quite completed the Master’s Thesis when the BS was
I started with RCA in Camden
NJ in June of 1952. At this time,
RCA had a “Specialized Training Program” which would consist of four or
five brief initial assignments, followed by a six-month assignment. Then,
after approximately one year of these initial job assignments, you would be
given a permanent location. Three
of my first four initial trainee assignments were in Camden – one was in
Home Electronics, one was in Military
Electronics, one was in involved with optimizing resistor values in flip-flop
circuits for an early room-sized vacuum tube computer, and the fourth
initial assignment was at Harrison, building early transistors. The follow-on six-month assignment was
also at Harrison, where I continued my work with early transistors.
At Harrison, I began work in a group managed by
George Rose, and my immediate supervisor was Bob Slade. Others in my group at this time were
Fred Hunter and Rob Kleppinger. What we did was actually fabrication and
testing of transistors and transistor processes.
To Ditrick Oral History, Page 2