Historical Background


The tunnel diode is a truly unique semiconductor, with a number of interesting characteristics and an unusual historical past.† Developed by Leo Esaki at Sony in 1957, and made public in 1958, the tunnel (or Esaki) diode was the first device that demonstrated the validity of quantum physics.† Very high switching speed (quantum tunneling) and the performance attribute known as negative resistance appeared to position the tunnel diode as the successor to the transistor for many applications.† Although several companies invested heavily in tunnel diode development, this unique technology has found only niche applications and since the mid 1960s has been largely seen as a technological curiosity.


Circuit design with the tunnel diode is very challenging, due to its unusual characteristic known as negative resistance, which is found in only a few other obscure devices (point contact and unijunction transistors, for example).† Your GE 1N3712/TD-1 is a general purpose device, well suited for experimentation as a very low power amplifier or oscillator.† Youíll be intrigued with this 45 year old germanium device, which functions by the mechanism of quantum tunneling of electrons.







Germanium Tunnel Diode

Vintage 1960s

Use: General Purpose

Your Transistor Museumô 1N3712/TD-1

†Order Will Contain:


One New Tunnel Diode.

(Style Shown Above)

IN3712/TD-1 Historic

Semiconductor Fact Sheet.

Transistor Museumô Classic Semiconductor Storage

And Display Envelope, with† Informational Insert.

Use this Link to See the Complete† Contents of Your Order



$15 per Package (One Tunnel Diode)

Add $2.50 Shipping/Handling within U.S.


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Copyright © 2008 by Jack Ward.† All Rights Reserved.