Sec 10.3 - 10 Semiconductor Physics: Transistors and...

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337 10 Semiconductor Physics: Transistors and Circuits The general aim of the . .. research program on semiconductors initiated at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in early 1946 . .. was to obtain as complete an under- standing as possible of semiconductor phenomena, not in empirical terms, but on the basis of atomic theory. John Bardeen (Nobel Lecture, 1956 ) 10.1 SILICON, TRANSISTORS, AND COMPUTERS As carbon is the building block for living things, silicon (Si) is the building block for information technology. Si-based semiconductors are the basis of most modern elec- tronic circuits. It is abundant (from sand), and it can be puriF ed to an extremely high degree. Semiconductor devices can be designed to carry out switching and gate opera- tions. That is, semiconductors can be turned into conductors when needed, and then turned back into insulators, as in turning a water faucet on and off. This chapter explains how this is done. Other technologically important semiconductors are germanium, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley (left to right), the inventors of the F rst practical transis- tor at AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1947. (With permis- sion of Lucent Technologies Inc./Bell Labs.) Eight-inch Si wafer containing hundreds of integrated circuits, each containing millions of transistors. TAF-K10173-08-1107-010.indd 337 TAF-K10173-08-1107-010.indd 337 4/27/09 6:37:45 AM 4/27/09 6:37:45 AM
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338 The Silicon Web: Physics for the Internet Age gallium arsenide, gallium phosphide, and indium arsenide. These have special uses, such as making lasers and light-emitting diodes, discussed in Chapter 12. The understanding of semiconductors, and Si especially, in the 1940s led to a rapid development of solid-state electronics —the basis of most computer and Internet tech- nology. Solid-state refers to the use of crystals as electronic components in circuits. This development culminated in the development in 1947 of the F rst practical semi- conductor transistor by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Although other scientists before Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley had accomplished closely related work, these three were recognized widely as having made the big breakthrough, and were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1956 for the invention of the transistor. As Bardeen said in his Nobel lecture, the immediate goal of the research he and his team were doing was to understand the basic physics of semiconductor crystals, on the basis of the theories of atomic physics that had been developed not long before. They also paid close attention to the practical implications of their newly found physics understanding, and, using what they had learned, built the world’s F rst transistor. It was immediately clear to physicists and engineers that transistors had impor- tant applications as electronic switches and as power ampliF ers. Nevertheless, it took 11 years from the invention of the transistor to the making of the F rst miniaturized, or integrated, transistor circuit. This was accomplished by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments (TI) in 1958 and started the digital revolution. Computer processors and memory are
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2011 for the course PHYS 222 taught by Professor Wade during the Spring '09 term at Edmonds Community College.

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Sec 10.3 - 10 Semiconductor Physics: Transistors and...

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