Dr. Jacques I. Pankove obtained
his BSEE in 1944 and his MSEE in 1948, both from the University of
California. He joined the RCA Laboratories shortly thereafter in 1948.
This timeframe coincided with the initial work on transistors done at RCA,
and Dr. Pankove was instrumental in developing the alloy junction
transistor technology at the RCA Labs. In 1956, he was awarded a “David
Sarnoff Fellowship” to study at the University of Paris, France, where he
was granted a Ph.D. His doctoral research topic there was the study of infrared
radiation from surface properties of germanium. He has been active in the
field of semiconductor research ever since, authoring over 250 papers, a
textbook, 10 edited volumes, and has over 93 patents issued.
This is a scan of
early Radio Frequency alloy junction transistors developed in 1953 by
Jacques Pankove and Charles Mueller, and described in the their paper “A
PNP Triode Alloy Junction Transistor for Radio-Frequency Amplification”,
published in Dec 1953 RCA Review. This device improved on the existing
audio frequency transistors, type TA153, which had been developed by
Pankove, Mueller, Law and Armstrong at RCA in 1952. The SX160 offered much
better high frequency performance (up to 75 MHZ) and was immediately used
by RCA researchers to build all-transistor radio receivers.
Oral History – Jacques Pankove
This Oral History was taken in May 2001.
I joined RCA in 1949 after
receiving an MS in Electrical Engineering from Berkeley where I had built a
Morse code Translator that I had invented during my 2+ years in the army.
This invention was in reaction to an intense dose of Morse code in my
makeup class during my field artillery training. In retrospect, this
translator was a great example of creativity involving diverse disciplines:
software (how to decipher the dot and dash code), electronic circuits,
optics (to make luminous characters appear at a central visual spot).
With this diverse background, RCA asked me to
work on the transistor that had been discovered recently at Bell Labs. Ed
Herold, the director of our laboratory at RCA said, “We do not know yet if
this will be an important device, but just in case, we must learn more
about it. Do you know anything about the transistor?” I answered: “ On
the way over from California to New jersey, I bought the latest issue of
Scientific American that had the first popularized article on the transistor.”
He replied, “Great! We think we should characterize the germanium
semiconductor that is used, and for this we must measure the Hall Effect.”
I interrupted with my still strong French accent, “Do you mean the
Fermi-Dirac hole?” “What? No, the H-A-L-L Effect”. I said that I had
never heard of this but would be willing to study – this was my entry into
a long career in semiconductors.
Go To Pankove Oral History, Page 2