EARLY TRANSISTOR HISTORY AT RCA

Norman H. Ditrick

 

Biographic Note

 

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 awarded.  

 

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.  

 

Go To Ditrick Oral History, Page 2

 

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT © 2001 by Jack Ward.  All Rights Reserved.  http://www.transistormuseum.com/

PAGE 1