The Semiconductory Industry:
John Fleming's patent of the vacuum tube in 1904 built on work by Thomas Edison and was the beginning of an industry that would use electronics to do things unthought of before. Radio communications and industrial controls followed, including analog computers and consumer products Devices using solid state devices are everywhere today, from toys to computers to communications, etc. The vacuum tube was used well into the sixties, but its replacement, the transistor, was invented in 1947 and would eventually take over almost all the functions of the vacuum tube. Transistors now make up virtually all electronic devices. First there were "discrete" transistors – a single transistor – but a complex instrument could require hundreds or even millions of them and the resulting size was prohibitive. The need was to have large numbers of transistors in a small space. The integrated circuit was introduced in 1961 and allowed many transistors in one component. Even with the integrated circuit, the problem of size continued to plague the industry. It wanted more transistors in even smaller sizes. Various methods were employed to increase the number of transistors on a single component. Currently, ion implantation, aided by other technologies, is the technique used. The addition of ion implantation has allowed for extremely dense populations of transistors in very small sizes. It has made cell phones, guidance systems, intelligent toys and other small computers possible. See (integrated circuit). In 2019, some integrated circuits contained over two trillion transistors. See (trnnsistor count).
In the early 1940s, the basic machines that were later adapted for ion implantation in the semiconductor business were used at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for uranium isotope separation. This was a critical part of the Manhattan Project. Ion beams were first used as part of semiconductor processing at Bell Laboratories in 1952 but it was not until 1966 that implantation was actually used to manufacture commercial semiconductor devices.
Accelerators Inc. had been a division of Picker X-Ray when Norman Bostrom took the reins, sponsored in part by William E. Bratton (1919-2008). Norm got his PhD in Physics from the University of Texas and was president of Texas Nuclear Corporation which he co-founded with Emmett Hudspeth, Tom Prud’homme and Lon Morgan, all affiliated with faculty of the University of Texas Physics Department and its Defense Research Laboratories (now Pickle Research Center).
Accelerators was one of the first companies to offer a commercial ion implanter for production purposes, it sold its first system to Texas Instruments in Dallas in 1970. Its home plant was at 212 Industrial Blvd., Austin, Texas. Eltek Corporation was formed by employees of Accelerators in 1974 and was sold to Kasper Instruments in 1975. Accelerators Inc. was acquired by Veeco in 1979.
I came to Accelerators in April of 1973 and worked there through February of 1975. (I brought experience from my employment at the University of Texas Physics Department. See U.T. Physics shops). In my reminiscences I note some of the people I remember from my time at Accelerators. I have also added a number of names to the directory I created based on the one at acceleratorsinc.com.
One of the people I remember is Dennis Wagner. I thought Dennis was hired after me, but he must have been out on a service call when I came on board, as he had been working there several months when I was hired. I met Dennis for lunch Oct. 6, 2016, some 43 years after we first met, and we had a long lunch and talked about our lives, our families, semiconductors and about our adventures at Accelerators.
Cleaning out the garage today (Nov. 30, 2016) and found a lot of pictures. I have forgotten doing it, but apparently I took pictures of some of the installations and repairs I did. I believe all the pictures below, with the exception of the black and white ones taken with the company Polaroid, were taken with my Canon FT-QL SLR with a 50mm lens.
Accelerators, Inc. machines & plant.
- 200MP Ion Implanter
- Accelerators 80-TA Ion Implanter
- Accelerators 200-90 HP Ion Implanter
- AI home plant
- Pictures from Dennis Wagner
Pictures from my service trips.
Most of these trips were repairs or modifications. I performed a number of installs, but I think the only one I have pictures of is the one at Fort Monmouth.
- 1973 Field Service Schedule
- Signetics, July 10, 1973
- Harvard, July 31 - Aug. 1973
- Motorola, Aug. 1973
- Fort Monmouth install, Jan. 1974
- The Chip History Center
- Picker X-Ray National Museum of American History
- University of Texas Physics Department
- University of Texas Center for Nuclear Studies
- University of Texas Fusion Research Center
- U.T. Physics History
- U.T. Physics Shops
- wikipedia Ion Implantation
- Dr. Walter Millett
- Dr. Fred Moore