CHAPTER 2
The cat’s whiskers

2.1 Early days

Even within the ranks of modern-day semiconductor research groups, it is probably not widely recognized that semiconductor research began as long ago as 1833 when Michael Faraday published his observations on the electrical conductivity of silver sulfide. In fact, he made one particularly important discovery, observing, for the first time, the negative temperature coefficient of resistivity which we have already met in our first survey of semiconductor properties. Thus, it was established very early on that there existed materials whose electrical properties were essentially different from those of the better known metals, though, needless to say, there was no possibility, at that time, of a proper understanding of the phenomenon. This had to wait for very nearly a hundred years, until the development of the quantum theory of solids in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Nor should it be supposed that even this basic observation was free of controversy. Faraday was, at the time, interested in studying the changes in conductivity associated with change of state from solid to liquid phase and several of the materials he measured were probably ionic conductors (which also show negative temperature coefficients of resistivity), rather than electronic. In fact, it was not until a hundred years after the original experiments that the controversy was finally laid to rest (in favour of Ag2S being an electronic semiconductor), a clear illustration of the difficulties inherent in understanding complex material behaviour in the absence of any wellestablished theory of electronic conduction in solids. At the same time, uncertainties concerning material quality could only add further confusion. Nevertheless, Faraday’s work set the scene for a gradual accumulation of experimental data which was to cover a surprising range of both materials and phenomena.

The rate of progress was, by today’s standards, extremely sedate but it must be borne in mind that there was none of the urgent commercialism which we now take for granted as part and parcel of semiconductor development, nor was there very much in the way of organized research. Many discoveries were made by self-motivated and often selffinanced individuals who enjoyed the challenge of unravelling nature’s secrets as a matter of intellectual satisfaction—no more. Nevertheless,

-19-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Story of Semiconductors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter 1 - Perspectives 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Cat's Whiskers 19
  • Chapter 3 - Minority Rule 47
  • Chapter 4 - Silicon, Silicon, and Yet More Silicon 93
  • Chapter 5 - The Compound Challenge 149
  • Chapter 6 - Low Dimensional Structures 213
  • Chapter 7 - Let There Be Light 277
  • Chapter 8 - Communicating with Light 331
  • Chapter 9 - Semiconductors in the Infrared 385
  • Chapter 10 - Polycrystalline and Amorphous Semiconductors 447
  • Index 503
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 510

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.