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History of Microelectronics

Kaushik Nayak
Research Scholar Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics Department of Electrical Engineering IIT Bombay

S.M. Sze, and Y. Nishi, EE 319 Lectures,

Semiconductor History: Faraday to Shockley (Exhibit 1: Conductivity of Metal Sulfides)

1833 Michael Faraday

(He discovered a compound with poor room temperature conductivity, which at elevated temperatures is comparable to metallic conductors)

1851 Johan Hittorf

(Temperature effects on conductivity of silver sulfide and cupric sulfide)

References: [1] M. Faraday, On a New Law of Electric Conduction, Phil Trans R Soc,vol.23 , pp. 507 507-15, 1833. [2] G. Busch, Early History of the Physics and Chemistry of Semiconductors From SemiconductorsDoubts to Fact in a Hundred Years, Eur J Phys ,vol.10, pp. 254 254-64, 1989.

Semiconductor History: Faraday to Shockley Contd... (Exhibit 2: Photoconductivity)

1873 Willoughby Smith

(Photoconductivity of Selenium)

1885 Shelford Bidwell

(Photoconductivity of Silver Sulfide)

References: [1] W. Smith, Effect of Light on Selenium during the passage of an Electric Current, Nature, 303, 20 February 1873. [2] S. Bidwell, On the Sensitiveness of Selenium to Light and the Development of a Similar Property in Sulphur, Proc. Phys. Soc. London, vol. 7 , pp.129 pp.129-145, 1885.

Semiconductor History: Faraday to Shockley Contd... (Exhibit 3: Photovoltaic Effects)

1839 A. E. Becquerel (First observed potential difference between

electrodes in a chemical cell, when one is illuminated and one is not)

Reference: [1] A.E. Becquerel, Recherches sur les effets de la radiation chimique de la lumiere solaire au moyen des courants electriques, Comptes Rendus de L LAcademie des Sciences, vol. 9, pp. 145 145-149,1839.

1876 William Adams and Richard Day (They noted that exposing

selenium conducting cell to light either increased or decreased the current)

Reference: [1] W. Adams, and R. Day, The Action of Light on Selenium, Proc R Soc, vol. 25, pp. 113 1876. 113-7,

Semiconductor History: Faraday to Shockley Contd... (Exhibit 4: Rectification)

1874 Ferdinand Braun (Rectification by metal sulfides) 1874 Arthur Schuster (Copper Copper oxide rectification) 1899 Jagadish Chandra Bose (Experimented with new detectors
for radio waves and was the first investigator to use crystal detectors for radio)

Reference: [1] J. C. Bose, On a self-recovering coherer and the study of the cohering action of different metals, Proc. Royal Society, Vol. LXV, No. 416, pp. 166172, Apr. 1899. References: [1] F. Braun, ber die Stromleitung durch Schwefelmetalle, Ann Phys Chem,vol.153, no.4, pp.556 pp.556-63, 1874. [2] A. Schuster, On Unilateral Conductivity, Phil Mag, vol. 48, pp. 556 556-563, 1874. 6

Semiconductor History: Faraday to Shockley Contd... (Exhibit 4: Rectification)

1901 Jagadish Chandra Bose

(His 1901 patent 755840, a design based on a pair of galena crystals is the first patent for a semiconductor device. Boses crystal detector also known as the point contact rectifier detects both radio and light waves.)

(Boses apparatus: Complete setup showing transmitting antenna at the left and the receiving antenna at the right)

(Two of Boses point contact detectors, removed from the receiving antennas)

Semiconductor History: Faraday to Shockley Contd... (Exhibit 5: Electroluminescence)

1907 Henry Round (Marcony Company) (Observed orange, yellow and

green light emission from Carborundum detectors on applying 10 to 110 V of bias voltage)

1923 Oleg Losev

(Worked on oscillating point point-contact crystal detectors & repeated emission of green light from a reversed biased Steel Steel-Carborundum diode)

References: [1] H. Round, A Note on Carborundum, Electrical World, vol. 9, p. 309, 19 February 1907. [2] E. Loebner, Subhistories of the Light Emitting Diode, IEEE Trans Electron Dev, vol. 23, pp. 675-99, 1976.

Semiconductor History: Faraday to Shockley Contd... (Early Commercialization Era)

1907 Greenleaf Picard (AT & T) (In his Silicon patent 836531 proposed

that the crystal detectors can use nonmetallic natural element such as silicon)

1922 Lars Grondahl (Union Switch and Signal)

(First patent on the copper copper copper-oxide rectifier)

1924 Oleg Losev

(Crystadyne negative resistance diode)

1930s Discovery of the P-N junction in Silicon and N development of Radar detectors (Bell Labs)

Development of Quantum Mechanics

1900 Max Planck

(Showed that light is emitted or absorbed in quanta or discrete amounts in Blackbody radiation)

1905 - Albert Einstein (Explanation of Photoelectric Effect using light quanta)

1913 Neils Bohr

(Bohrs Theory of atom)


Development of Quantum Mechanics Contd...

1924 Louis Victor De Broglie

(Matter Wave Hypothesis)

1925 Werner Karl Heisenberg

(Uncertainty Principle & Matrix Mechanics)

1926 Erwin Schrdinger dinger

(Wave Mechanics)


Development of Quantum Mechanics Contd...

1928 P. A. M. Dirac

(Complete theoretical formulation of Quantum Mechanics and development of operator algebra in Quantum Mechanics)

1932 John Von Neumann

(Built a solid mathematical framework for quantum mechanics using operator algebra) The_Quantum_age_begins.html


Brief History of the development of Vacuum Tube Electronics

1901 John A. Fleming (Univ. College London)

(Invention of Vacuum Tube Diode)

1907 Lee De Forest

(Invention of Audion and the Triode Valve)


Vacuum Tube Electronics (Further Development) (1910 - 1940)

1916 H. J. Round

(Development of low anode capacitance valve Type V24)

1930s Introduction of the tetrode and pentode brought revolutionary improvements in the performance of the vacuum tube electronic circuits

Vacuum tubes today: The reign of the thermoionic valve did not last

forever. Development in Semiconductor research that resulted in the invention of the transistor in 1948 meant that smaller, reliable and less power hungry devices could be made.


Development of Theoretical Understanding of Semiconductors

1879 Edwin Hall (Hall Effect)

1886 Clemens Winkler 1897 Joseph J. Thomson

(Announcement and entry of Germanium)

(Discovery of Electron)

1907 Karl Baedker (Hall effect in Semiconductors) 1916 Tolman and Steward (Confirmation of electron as the primary
current carrier in metals)

Development of Theoretical Understanding of Semiconductors Contd ...

1924 B. Gudden 1928 Felix Bloch

(Impurity hypothesis on the electrical conduction of semiconductors) to describe the electrons)

(Quantum theory of solids using Bloch waves

1931 Alan Wilson

(Band theory of Semiconductors & explanation of negative temperature coefficient of resistance)


Georg Busch, Eur. J. Phys., vol. 10, pp. 254 254-264, 1989.

Development of Theoretical Understanding of Semiconductors Contd ...

1938 Devydov

(Role of Minority Carriers in Semiconductors) (Role of dopants in Germanium conductivity)

Early 1940s Karl Lark-Horovitz (Purdue) Horovitz

1949 G. L. Pearson and J. Bardeen (Bell Labs) (Theory of dopants)


Development of Theoretical Understanding of Semiconductors Contd ...

1949 William Shockley (Bell Labs)

(Theory of P-N junctions in semiconductors and P-N junction Transistor)


Invention of Germanium Point Contact Transistor

1947 William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain (Bell Labs) -- Nobel prize in Physics (1956)

[Picture on left shows the first point contact transistor; on right William Shockley (seated), John Bardeen (left) and Walter Brattain (right)]


Introduction of Junction Transistor

1949 William Shockley (Bell Labs) (Conceives an improved

transistor structure based on a theoretical understanding of the p-n junction)

1951 Gordon Teal and Morgan Sparks (Bell Labs)

(Gordon Teal grows large single crystals of germanium and works Morgan Sparks to fabricate an n-p-n junction transistor)


Development of Zone Refining

1951 William Pfann and Henry Theurer (Bell Labs)
(Developed Zone refining techniques for production of ultra-pure semiconductor materials)

(William Pfann and Jack Scaff with early zone refining equipment)

(Illustration of the process of Zone refining)


1952 Transistorized Consumer Products Appear

Transistors appear in battery powered hearing aids and pocket radios, where consumers are willing to pay a premium for portability and low power. 1952 Sonotone Hearing Aid (First transistorized consumer product

in the US made by Germanium Products Corporation)

1953 First Transistor Radio (Internetall Corp., Dusseldorf, West


1954 First Transistor radio in US Regency TR -1 (Joint venture

between Texas Instruments & the Regency division of Industrial Development Engg Associates)

1954 Germanium Clocks, hearing aids and Transistor Radio

(Tokyo Telecommunication Company; later named SONY)

1953 Emergence of Transistorized Computer

1953 Richard Grimsdale and Tom Kilburn (Manchester University)

(Demonstration of a 48 48-bit transistorized Computer)

1954 Jean H. Felker and James R. Harris (Bell Labs)

(Built a fully transistorized computer TRADIC for the US Air Force)

1956 MIT Lincoln Labs (Built 5 MHz general purpose digital computer 1956 Hiroshi Wada (Electrochemical Laboratory, Tokyo)
(Japan's first transistorized computer ETL Mark III)


Emergence of Silicon Transistors

1954 Morris Tanenbaum (Bell Labs) (Fabricated the first silicon

But Texas Instruments' engineers built and marketed the first commercial Si devices.

(Morris Tanenbaum and Charls Lee at Bell Labs)

(TI's 1954 Si transistor team)

(Design sketch of TI's first Si Transistor)


Development of Silicon Process Technology

1954 Charls Lee and Morris Tanenbaum (Bell Labs)

(Diffusion process developed for Transistors)

1955 Carl Frosch and Lincoln Derick (Bell Labs)

(Development of Oxide Masking)

1955 Jules Andrus and Walter Bond (Bell Labs)

(Adapted photolithography techniques from printing technology to enable precise etching of diffusion windows in silicon)

1957 Jay Lathrop and James Nall (US Army's Diamond Ordnance Fuse Laboratories)

(Patented photolithography techniques used to deposit thin thin-film metal strips on a ceramic substrate)

Tunnel Diode Promises High Speed Semiconductor Switch

1958 Leo Esaki (Sony)
(Reported a new diode, which exhibited negative resistance and exploited QM tunneling effect)

(Leo Esaki in Sony Laboratory)

(A General Electric tunnel diode, circa 1960)

(Robert Noyce's 1956 notes on the tunnel diode)


Commercial Production of Silicon Mesa Transistors

1958 Fairchild Semiconductor
(Produced double diffused silicon mesa transistors to meet demanding aerospace applications)

(Fairchild Founders, circa 1960)

(Double diffused Si mesa transistor) (Fairchild Semiconductor wafer diffusion area)


Demonstration of all semiconductor Solid State Circuit

1958 Jack Kilby (Texas Instruments) - Built a microcircuit using Ge mesa

p-n-p transistor slices, he had etched to form transistor, capacitor and resistor elements - Required external wiring to connect the elements - Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics (2000)

(Jack Kilby with his lab notebook)

(TIs Type 502 flip-flop built using Kilbys 28 (Kilbys original Ge Solid Circuit Oscillator) techniques)

Practical Monolithic Integrated Circuit Concept Patented

1959 Robert Noyce (Fairchild)
- Builds on Jean Hoernis planar process to patent a monolithic integrated circuit structure that can be manufactured in high volume - Interconnection of diodes, transistors, resistors and capacitors diffused into the Si with Al metal lines

(Hoernis patent on the planar manufacturing process)

29 (Robert Noyces basic IC patent)

Demonstration of MOS Transistor

1959 John Atalla and Dawon Kahng (Bell Labs)
- Achieved the first successful insulated gate field effect transistor (FET), which has been long anticipated by Lilienfeld, Heil, Shockley and others

(Figure from Dawon Kahngs MOS patent)

(RCAs 16 MOS transistor Integrated device, circa 1962)


1965 Moores Law

- Fairchild director of R & D predicts the rate of increase of transistor density on an IC and establishes a yardstick for technology progress. - Cramming more components onto integrated circuits ---- Electronics, April 19, 1965.

1974 Scaling of IC process Design Rules Quantified

IBM researcher Robert Dennards paper on process scaling on MOS memories accelerates a global race to shrink physical dimensions and manufacture ever more complex Ics.

Classical MOSFET Scaling

H.S.P. Wong et al., Proc. of IEEE, vo. 87, no. 4, 1999

Past and Future Downscaling Trend

R. Chau et al., Physica E, vol.19, pp. 1-5, 2003

Hiroshi Iwai, IEEE VLSID, 2004

[1]] [2] [3] [4] [5] 1196036813732.html [6] [7] [8] [9]


References Contd ...

[10] [12] [13] [14] George Busch, Early history of the physics and chemistry of semiconductors semiconductorsfrom doubts to facts in a hundred years, Eur. J. Phys., vol.10, pp. 254 254-264, 1989.


Thank You