CQ Amateur Radio

First Experiments with TRANSISTORS

In the field of semi-conductors, we deal with materials such as silicon and germanium, and when these solids are employed in electronic circuits, it is generally stated that we are working with the electron flow within, or through, a solid. This enables differentiation between the semi-conductor mode of electron flow and that within the radio tube, which obviously takes place in a vacuum.

Some Early History

These certain solids (here we may include the galena of early radio days, the more recent germanium crystal diode, and lately the transistor), are appropriately called semiconductors since the value of their resistivity first lies between that of a good conductor and then that of a good insulator. They offer high resistance to current flowing in one direction and little resistance to current flow in the reverse direction.

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Early semi-conductor solids which were used for detecting, or rectifying the radio signals radiated by broadcasting stations, consisted of small pieces of minerals, such as galena, silicon or carborundum, and were widely used with the well-known catswhisker. Popularly known as crystal detectors, these semi-conductor de-vices performed as rectifiers of alternating cur-rents due to their almost unilateral conductance characteristics; i.e., they displayed much less resistance to current flow between the cats-whisker and crystal in one direction than in

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