This Oral History was developed from material based on
an Oct, 2000 interview.
My involvement with the
early days of the grown junction transistor began in Feb, 1955 when I left
National Union with Jay Reese and joined Texas Instruments. I was hired to
work on a new Army Signal Corps contract to develop silicon transistors for
military use. It was recognized that the germanium transistors then
available would not be able to perform at the high temperatures common to
military applications. TI had invented the silicon transistor, the first
of its kind, using grown junction technology. At the time, Mark Sheppard,
later to become CEO and President, was the chief engineer and Boyd
Cornelison was in charge of production.
The silicon transistor
material was grown in a crystal-pulling machine using the Czochraski
crystal growth principle. A quartz crucible filled with polycrystalline
purified silicon was enclosed in a graphite crucible that was heated by
radio frequency induced currents from a surrounding induction coil.
Oral History, Page 2