LESSON 1. INTRODUCTION TO TRANSISTORS AND SEMICONDUCTORS MMS Subcourse Number 701...............Transistors and SemiconductorsLesson Objective.......................To introduce the student to transistorsand semiconductors to include history,functions and construction.Credit Hours...........................OneTEXT1. GENERAL.
Fundamentally, a semiconductor device is a valve that controlsthe flow of current carriers (electrical charges in motion) through the crystalmaterial of which it is made. A transistor's ability to control currentcarriers makes it potentially the most useful single element in modernelectronic equipment. Transistors are used in military radio, sound, radar,telephone, missile circuitry and computers.
2. HISTORY.a. Crystal Rectifier.
The first use of a crystal semiconductor (figure1-1) as a rectifier (detector) was in the early days of radio. A crystal wasclamped in a small cup or receptacle and a flexible wire (cat-whisker) madelight contact with the crystal. The receiver was tuned by operating theadjusting arm until the cat-whisker was positioned on a spot of the crystal thatresulted in a sound in the headset. Tuning the variable capacitor providedmaximum signal in the headset; frequent adjustment of the contact point wasrequired.
Figure 1-1. Radio receiver using crystal rectifier.
b. Point Contact Diode.
Point contact diodes (figure 1-2) (germaniumrectifiers) were used during World War II to replace electron tubes in radar andother high frequency equipment. The point contact diode has a very low shuntcapacitance and does not require heater power. These properties are definiteadvantages over the electron tube diode. The point contact diode is identicalwith the crystal rectifier in that it includes a semiconductor, a metal base,and a metallic point contact. The connections to the point contact diode are anexternal lead welded to the metallic point contact, and an external lead weldedto the metal base.
MMS 701, 1-P1