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Circuit Design: Know It All by Bob Zeidman, Tim Williams, Robert Pease, Walt Kester, Ian Hickman, Bonnie Baker, Darren Ashby

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Chapter 4

Bipolar Transistors

Ian Hickman

Unlike semiconductor diodes, transistors did not see active service in the Second World War; they were born several years too late. In 1948 it was discovered that if a point contact diode detector were equipped with two cat’s whiskers rather than the usual one, spaced very close together, the current through one of them could be influenced by a current through the other. The crystal used was germanium, one of the rare earths, and the device had to be prepared by discharging a capacitor through each of the cat’s whiskers in turn to “form” a junction. Over the following years, the theory of conduction via junctions was elaborated as the physical processes were unraveled, and the more reproducible junction ...

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