The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Crystadins, triodes and transistors

The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Crystadins, triodes and transistors
The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Crystadins, triodes and transistors
The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Crystadins, triodes and transistors

In Zelenograd, Yuditsky's creative impulse reached a crescendo, and there it ended forever. To understand why this happened, let's make another dive into the past and figure out how, in general, Zelenograd arose, who ruled in it and what developments were carried out there. The topic of Soviet transistors and microcircuits is one of the most painful in our history of technology. Let's try to follow her from the first experiments to Zelenograd.

In 1906, Greenleaf Whittier Pickard invented the crystal detector, the first semiconductor device that could be used instead of a lamp (open at about the same time) as the main body of a radio receiver. Unfortunately, for the detector to work, it was required to find the most sensitive point on the surface of an inhomogeneous crystal with a metal probe (nicknamed cat's whisker), which was extremely difficult and inconvenient. As a result, the detector was supplanted by the first vacuum tubes, however, before that Picard made a lot of money on it and drew attention to the semiconductor industry, from which all their main research began.

Crystal detectors were mass-produced even in the Russian Empire; in 1906–1908, the Russian Society of Wireless Telegraphs and Telephones (ROBTiT) was created.


In 1922, an employee of the Novgorod radio laboratory, O. V. Losev, experimenting with the Picard detector, discovered the ability of crystals to amplify and generate electrical oscillations under certain conditions and invented a prototype of a generator diode - kristadin. The 1920s in the USSR were just the beginning of mass radio amateurism (a traditional hobby of Soviet geeks until the very collapse of the Union), Losev successfully got into the topic, proposing a number of good schemes for radio receivers on kristadin. Over time, he was lucky twice - the NEP marched around the country, business developed, contacts were established, including abroad. As a result (a rare case for the USSR!), They learned about the Soviet invention abroad, and Losev gained wide recognition when his brochures were published in English and German. In addition, reciprocal letters to the author were sent from Europe (more than 700 in 4 years: from 1924 to 1928), and he established a mail-order sale of kristadins (at a price of 1 ruble 20 kopecks), not only in the USSR, but also in Europe.

Losev's works were highly appreciated, the editor of the famous American magazine Radio News (Radio News for September, 1924, p. 294, The Crystodyne Principe) not only devoted a separate article to Kristadin and Losev, but also adorned it with an extremely flattering description of the engineer and his creation (moreover the article was based on a similar article in the Parisian magazine Radio Revue - about a modest employee of the Nizhny Novgorod laboratory who did not even have a higher education, the whole world knew).

We are happy to present to our readers this month an epoch-making radio invention that will be of the very greatest importance within the next few years. The young Russian inventor, Mr. O. V. Lossev has given this invention to the world, he having taken out no patents on it. It is now possible to do anything and everything with a crystal that can be done with a vacuum tube. … Our readers are invited to submit their articles on the new Crystodyne principle. While we do not look forward to having the crystal displace the vacuum tube, nevertheless it will become a very powerful competitor of the tube. We predict great things for the new invention.


Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and with the end of the NEP, both trade and personal contacts of private traders with Europe ended: from now on, only competent authorities could deal with such things, and they did not want to trade in kristadins.

Not long before that, in 1926, the Soviet physicist Ya. I. Frenkel put forward a hypothesis about defects in the crystal structure of semiconductors, which he called "holes." At this time, Losev moved to Leningrad and worked at the Central Research Laboratory and the State Institute of Physics and Technology under the leadership of A.F. Ioffe, moonlighting teaching physics as an assistant at the Leningrad Medical Institute.Unfortunately, his fate was tragic - he refused to leave the city before the blockade began and in 1942 he died of hunger.

Some authors believe that the leadership of the Industrial Institute and personally A.F. Ioffe, who distributed the rations, are to blame for the death of Losev. Naturally, the point is not that he was deliberately starved to death, but rather that the management did not see him as a valuable employee whose life needs to be saved. The most interesting thing is that for many years Losev's breakthrough works were not included in any historical essays on the history of physics in the USSR: the trouble was that he never received a formal education, moreover, he was never distinguished by ambition and worked at a time when others received academic titles.

As a result, they remembered the successes of the humble laboratory assistant when it was necessary, moreover, they did not hesitate to use his discoveries, but he himself was firmly forgotten. For example, Joffe wrote to Ehrenfest in 1930:

“Scientifically, I have a number of successes. So, Losev received a glow in carborundum and other crystals under the action of electrons of 2-6 volts. The luminescence limit in the spectrum is limited."

Losev also discovered the LED effect, unfortunately, his work at home was not properly appreciated.

Unlike the USSR, in the West, in the article by Egon E. Loebner, Subhistories of the Light Emitting Diode (IEEE Transaction Electron Devices. 1976. Vol. ED-23, No. 7, July), Losev is the ancestor of three types of semiconductor devices - amplifiers, oscillators and LEDs.

In addition, Losev was an individualist: while studying with the masters, he listened only to himself, independently set the goals of research, all his articles without co-authors (which, as we remember, by the standards of the scientific bureaucracy of the USSR, is simply insulting: chiefs). Losev never officially joined any school of the then authorities - V. K. Lebedinsky, M. A. Bonch-Bruevich, A. F. Ioffe, and paid for this with decades of complete oblivion. At the same time, until 1944 in the USSR, microwave detectors according to the Losev scheme were used for radar.

The disadvantage of Losev's detectors was that the parameters of the cristadins were far from lamps, and most importantly, they were not reproducible on a massive scale, decades remained until a full-fledged quantum-mechanical theory of semiconductor, no one understood the physics of their work, and therefore could not improve them. Under the pressure of vacuum tubes, the kristadin left the stage.

However, on the basis of Losev's works, his boss Ioffe in 1931 publishes a general article "Semiconductors - new materials for electronics", and a year later B.V. Kurchatov and V.P. and the type of electrical conductivity is determined by the concentration and nature of the impurity in the semiconductor, but these works were based on foreign research and the discovery of a rectifier (1926) and a photocell (1930). As a result, it turned out that the Leningrad semiconductor school became the first and most advanced in the USSR, but Ioffe was considered her father, although it all started with a much more modest laboratory assistant. In Russia, at all times, they were very sensitive to myths and legends and tried not to defile their purity with any facts, so the story of engineer Losev surfaced only 40 years after his death, already in the 1980s.


In addition to Ioffe and Kurchatov, Boris Iosifovich Davydov carried out work with semiconductors in Leningrad (also reliably forgotten, for example, there is not even an article about him in the Russian Wiki, and in a heap of sources he is stubbornly referred to as a Ukrainian academician, although he was a Ph.D. D., and had nothing to do with Ukraine at all). He graduated from the LPI in 1930, before having passed the external examinations for a certificate, after that he worked at the LPTI and the Research Institute of Television. On the basis of his breakthrough work on the motion of electrons in gases and semiconductors, Davydov developed a diffusion theory of current rectification and the appearance of photo-emf and published it in the article “On the theory of electron motion in gases and semiconductors” (ZhETF VII, issue 9–10, p. 1069– 89, 1937).He proposed his own theory of the passage of current in diode structures of semiconductors, including those with different types of conductivity, later called p-n junctions, and prophetically suggested that germanium would be suitable for the implementation of such a structure. In the theory proposed by Davydov, a theoretical substantiation of the p-n junction was first given and the concept of injection was introduced.

Davydov's article was also highly appreciated abroad, albeit later. John Bardeen, in his 1956 Nobel lecture, mentioned him as one of the fathers of semiconductor theory, along with Sir Alan Herries Wilson, Sir Nevill Francis Mott, William Bradford Shockley and Schottky (Walter Hermann Schottky).

Alas, the fate of Davydov himself in his homeland was sad, in 1952, during the persecution of "Zionists and rootless cosmopolitans", he was expelled as unreliable from the Kurchatov Institute, however, he was allowed to study atmospheric physics at the Institute of Physics of the Earth of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Undermined health and the stress experienced did not allow him to continue working for a long time. At the age of only 55, Boris Iosifovich died in 1963. Before that, he still managed to prepare the works of Boltzmann and Einstein for the Russian edition.


True Ukrainians and academicians, however, also did not stand aside, although they worked in the same place - in the heart of Soviet semiconductor research, Leningrad. Born in Kiev, the future academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR Vadim Evgenievich Lashkarev moved to Leningrad in 1928 and worked at the Leningrad Physicotechnical Institute, heading the department of X-ray and electronic optics, and since 1933 - the laboratory of electron diffraction. He worked so well that in 1935 he became Doctor of Physics and Mathematics. n. based on the results of the laboratory's activities, without defending a thesis.

However, soon after that, the skating rink of repressions moved him, and in the same year the doctor of physical and mathematical sciences was arrested on a rather schizophrenic accusation of “participation in a counter-revolutionary group of mystical persuasion,” however, he got off surprisingly humanely - only 5 years of exile to Arkhangelsk. In general, the situation there was interesting, according to the recollections of his student, later member of the Academy of Medical Sciences N.M. Amosov, Lashkarev really believed in spiritualism, telekinesis, telepathy, etc., participated in sessions (and with a group of the same lovers of the paranormal), for which he was exiled. In Arkhangelsk, however, he lived not in a camp, but in a simple room and was even admitted to teaching physics.

In 1941, returning from exile, he continued the work begun with Ioffe and discovered the pn transition in copper oxide. In the same year, Lashkarev published the results of his discoveries in the articles "Investigation of locking layers by the thermal probe method" and "The influence of impurities on the valve photoelectric effect in copper oxide" (co-authored with KM Kosonogova). Later, in the evacuation in Ufa, he developed and established the production of the first Soviet diodes on copper oxide for radio stations.


Bringing the thermal probe closer to the detector needle, Lashkarev actually reproduced the structure of a point transistor, still a step - and he would be 6 years ahead of the Americans and open the transistor, but, alas, this step was never taken.


Finally, another approach to the transistor (independent of all others for reasons of secrecy) was taken in 1943. Then, on the initiative of AI Berg, already known to us, the famous decree "On Radar" was adopted, in specially organized TsNII-108 MO (SG Kalashnikov) and NII-160 (AV Krasilov), the development of semiconductor detectors began. From the memoirs of N.A.Penin (employee of Kalashnikov):

"One day, an excited Berg ran into the laboratory with the Journal of Applied Physics - here's an article on welded detectors for radars, rewrite the magazine for yourself and take action."

Both groups have been successful in observing transistor effects. There is evidence of this in the laboratory records of the Kalashnikov detector group for 1946-1947, but such devices were “discarded as a marriage,” according to Penin's recollections.

In parallel, in 1948, Krasilov's group, developing germanium diodes for radar stations, received the transistor effect and tried to explain it in the article "Crystal triode" - the first publication in the USSR on transistors, independent of Shockley's article in "The Physical Review" and almost simultaneous. Moreover, in fact, the same restless Berg literally poked his nose into the transistor effect of Krasilov. He drew attention to an article by J. Bardeen and W. H. Brattain, The Transistor, A Semi-Conductor Triode (Phys. Rev. 74, 230 - Published 15 July 1948), and reported in Fryazino. Krasilov connected his graduate student S.G. Madoyan to the problem (a wonderful woman who played an important role in the production of the first Soviet transistors, by the way, she is not the daughter of the Minister of the ARSSR G.K. Madoyan, but a modest Georgian peasant G.A. Madoyan). Alexander Nitusov in the article "Susanna Gukasovna Madoyan, the creator of the first semiconductor triode in the USSR" describes how she came to this topic (from her words):

“In 1948 at the Moscow Institute of Chemical Technology, at the department“Technology of electrovacuum and gas-discharge devices”… when distributing theses, the topic“Research of materials for a crystalline triode”went to a shy student who was the last in the group's list. Frightened that he would not be able to cope, the poor man began to ask the leader of the group to give him something else. She, heeding the persuasion, called the girl who was next to him and said: “Susanna, change with him. You are a brave, active girl with us, and you will figure it out. " So the 22-year-old graduate student, without expecting it, turned out to be the first developer of transistors in the USSR."

As a result, she received a referral to NII-160, in 1949 Brattain's experiment was reproduced by her, but the matter did not go further than this. We traditionally overestimate the significance of those events, raising them to the rank of creating the first domestic transistor. However, the transistor was not made in the spring of 1949, only the transistor effect on the micromanipulator was demonstrated, and the germanium crystals were not used of their own, but extracted from the Philips detectors. A year later, samples of such devices were developed at the Lebedev Physical Institute, Leningrad Physics Institute and the Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In the early 50s, the first point transistors were also manufactured by Lashkarev in a laboratory at the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.

To our great regret, on December 23, 1947, Walter Brattain at AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories made a presentation of the device he invented - a working prototype of the first transistor. In 1948, AT & T's first transistor radio was unveiled, and in 1956, William Shockley, Walter Brattain, and John Bardeen received the Nobel Prize for one of the greatest discoveries in human history. So, Soviet scientists (having come literally at a distance of a millimeter to a similar discovery before the Americans and even having already seen it with their own eyes, which is especially annoying!) Lost the transistor race.

Why we lost the transistor race

What was the reason for this unfortunate event?

In 1920–1930, we went head to head not only with the Americans, but, in general, with the whole world studying semiconductors. Similar work was going on everywhere, a fruitful exchange of experience was carried out, articles were written, and conferences were held. The USSR came closest to creating a transistor, we literally held its prototypes in our hands, and 6 years earlier than the Yankees. Unfortunately, we were hindered, first of all, by the famous effective management in the Soviet style.

First, work on semiconductors was carried out by a bunch of independent teams, the same discoveries were made independently, the authors had no information about the achievements of their colleagues. The reason for this was the already mentioned paranoid Soviet secrecy of all research in the field of defense electronics. Further, the main problem of Soviet engineers was that, unlike the Americans, they did not initially look for a replacement for the vacuum triode on purpose - they developed diodes for the radar (trying to copy the captured German, Phillips companies), and the end result was obtained almost by accident and did not immediately realize its potential.

At the end of the 1940s, radar problems dominated in radio electronics, it was for radar in the electrovacuum NII-160 that magnetrons and klystrons were developed, their creators, of course, were in the forefront. Silicon detectors were also intended for radars.Krasilov was overwhelmed by government topics on lamps and diodes and did not burden himself even more, leaving for unexplored areas. And the characteristics of the first transistors were oh, how far from the monstrous magnetrons of powerful radars, the military did not see any use in them.

In fact, nothing better than lamps has really been invented for superpowerful radars, many of these monsters of the Cold War are still in service and work, providing unsurpassed parameters. For example, ring-rod traveling wave tubes (the largest in the world, more than 3 meters long) developed by Raytheon in the early 1970s and still manufactured by L3Harris Electron Devices are used in AN / FPQ-16 PARCS systems (1972) and AN / FPS-108 COBRA DANE (1976), which later formed the basis of the famous Don-2N. PARCS tracks more than half of all objects in Earth's orbit and is capable of detecting a basketball-sized object at a distance of 3200 km. An even higher-frequency lamp is installed in Cobra Dane's radar on the remote island of Shemya, 1,900 kilometers off the coast of Alaska, tracking non-US missile launches and collecting satellite observations. Radar lamps are being developed and now, for example, in Russia they are produced by JSC NPP "Istok" them. Shokin (formerly the same NII-160).


In addition, Shockley's group relied on the latest research in the field of quantum mechanics, having already rejected the early dead-end directions of Yu. E. Lilienfeld, R. Wichard Pohl and other predecessors of the 1920s and 1930s. Bell Labs, like a vacuum cleaner, sucked the best brains of the USA for its project, sparing no money. The company had over 2,000 graduate scientists on its staff, and the transistor group stood at the very apex of this pyramid of intelligence.

There was a problem with quantum mechanics in the USSR in those years. In the late 1940s, quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity were criticized for being "bourgeois idealistic." Soviet physicists such as K. V. Nikol'skii and D. I. Blokhintsev (see D. I. Blokhintsev's marginal article "Criticism of the Idealistic Understanding of Quantum Theory", UFN, 1951), persistently tried to develop a "Marxist correct" science, just as in Nazi Germany scientists tried to create "racially correct" physics, while also ignoring the work of the Jew, Einstein. At the end of 1948, preparations began for the All-Union Conference of Heads of Physics Departments with the aim of "correcting" the "omissions" in physics that had taken place, a collection of "Against idealism in modern physics" was published, in which proposals were put forward to crush "Einsteinism".

However, when Beria, who oversaw the work on the creation of the atomic bomb, asked IV Kurchatov if it was true that it was necessary to abandon quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity, he heard:

"If you refuse them, you will have to give up the bomb."

The pogroms were canceled, but quantum mechanics and TO could not be officially studied in the USSR until the mid-1950s. For example, one of the Soviet "Marxist scientists" back in 1952 in the book "Philosophical Issues of Modern Physics" (and the publishing house of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR!) "Proved" the erroneousness of E = mc² so that modern charlatans would become jealous:

“In this case, there is a kind of redistribution of the value of mass that has not yet been specifically disclosed by science, in which the mass does not disappear and which is the result of a deep change in the real connections of the system … energy … undergo corresponding changes."

He was echoed by his colleague, another "great Marxist physicist" AK Timiryazev in his article "Once again on the wave of idealism in modern physics":

“The article confirms, firstly, that the implantation of Einsteinism and quantum mechanics in our country was closely associated with enemy anti-Soviet activities, and secondly, that it took place in a special form of opportunism - admiration for the West, and thirdly,that already in the 1930s the idealistic essence of the "new physics" and the "social order" placed on it by the imperialist bourgeoisie were proved."

And these people wanted to get a transistor ?!

Leading scientists from the USSR Academy of Sciences Leontovich, Tamm, Fock, Landsberg, Khaikin and others were eliminated from the Physics Department of Moscow State University as "bourgeois idealists". When in 1951, in connection with the liquidation of the FTF of Moscow State University, its students, who studied with Pyotr Kapitsa and Lev Landau, were transferred to the physics department, they were genuinely surprised by the low level of teachers of the physics department. At the same time, before the tightening of the screws from the second half of the 1930s, there was no talk of ideological cleansing in science, on the contrary, there was a fruitful exchange of ideas with the international community, for example, Robert Paul visited the USSR in 1928, participating together with the fathers of quantum mechanics Paul Dirac (Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac), Max Born and others at the VI Congress of Physicists in Kazan, while the already mentioned Losev at the same time freely wrote letters about the photoelectric effect to Einstein. Dirac in 1932 published an article in collaboration with our quantum physicist Vladimir Fock. Unfortunately, the development of quantum mechanics in the USSR stopped at the end of the 1930s and remained there until the mid-1950s, when, after Stalin's death, the ideological screws were unleashed and condemned by Lysenkoism and other ultra-marginal Marxist "scientific breakthroughs."

Finally, there was also our purely domestic factor, the already mentioned anti-Semitism, inherited from the Russian Empire. It did not disappear anywhere after the revolution, and in the late 1940s the "Jewish question" began to be raised again. According to the recollections of the CCD developer Yu. R. Nosov, who met with Krasilov in the same dissertation council (set out in "Electronics" No. 3/2008):

those who are older and wiser knew that in such a situation they had to go to the bottom, temporarily disappear. For two years Krasilov rarely visited NII-160. They said that he was introducing detectors at the Tomilinsky plant. It was then that several notable Fryazino microwave specialists headed by S.A.Zusmanovsky, against their will, thundered into Saratov to raise the Volga electronic virgin soil. Krasilov's protracted "business trip" not only slowed down our transistor start, but also gave rise in the scientist - the then leader and authority, emphasized caution and prudence, which later, possibly, delayed the development of silicon and gallium arsenide transistors.

Compare this to the work of the Bell Labs group.

Correct formulation of the project goal, timeliness of its setting, availability of colossal resources. Development Director Marvin Kelly, a specialist in quantum mechanics, brought together a group of top-class professionals from Massachusetts, Princeton and Stanford, allocated them almost unlimited resources (hundreds of millions of dollars annually). William Shockley, as a person, was a kind of analogue of Steve Jobs: insanely demanding, scandalous, rude to subordinates, had a disgusting character (as a manager, unlike Jobs, he, by the way, was also unimportant), but at the same time, as a technical leader of the group, he had the highest professionalism, breadth of outlook and manic ambitiousness - for the sake of success, he was ready to work 24 hours a day. Naturally, apart from the fact that he was an excellent experimental physicist. The group was formed on a multidisciplinary basis - each is a master of his craft.


In fairness, the first transistor was radically underestimated by the entire world community, and not only in the USSR, and this was the fault of the device itself. The germanium point transistors were terrible. They had low power, were made almost by hand, lost parameters when heated and shaken, and provided continuous operation in the range from half an hour to several hours. Their only advantages over lamps were their colossal compactness and low power consumption. And the problems with the state management of development were not only in the USSR.The British, for example, according to Hans-Joachim Queisser (an employee of the Shockley Transistor Corporation, an expert in silicon crystals and, together with Shockley, the father of solar panels), generally considered the transistor to be some kind of clever advertising gimmick by Bell Laboratories.

Amazingly, they managed to overlook the production of microcircuits after transistors, despite the fact that the idea of ​​integration was first proposed back in 1952 by a British radio engineer Geoffrey William Arnold Dummer (not to be confused with the famous American Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer), who later became famous as "The prophet of integrated circuits." For a long time, he unsuccessfully tried to find funding at home, only in 1956 he was able to make a prototype of his own IC by growing from a melt, but the experiment was unsuccessful. In 1957, the British Ministry of Defense finally recognized his work as unpromising, officials motivated the refusal by the high cost and parameters worse than those of discrete devices (where they got the values ​​of the parameters of not yet created ICs - a bureaucratic secret).

In parallel, all 4 English semiconductor companies (STC, Plessey, Ferranti and Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems Ltd (formed by the takeover of Elliott Brothers by GEC-Marconi)) tried to develop privately all 4 English semiconductor companies, but none of them really established the production of microcircuits. It is rather difficult to understand the intricacies of British technology, but the book "A History of the World Semiconductor Industry (History and Management of Technology)", written in 1990, helped.

Its author Peter Robin Morris argues that the Americans were far from the first in the development of microcircuits. Plessey had prototyped the IC back in 1957 (before Kilby!), Although industrial production was delayed until 1965 (!!) and the moment was lost. Alex Cranswick, a former Plessey employee, said that they got very fast bipolar silicon transistors in 1968 and produced two ECL logic devices on them, including a logarithmic amplifier (SL521), which was used in a number of military projects, possibly in ICL computers.

Peter Swann claims in Corporate Vision and Rapid Technological Change that Ferranti produced its first MicroNOR I series chips for the Navy back in 1964. The collector of the first microcircuits, Andrew Wylie, clarified this information in correspondence with former Ferranti employees, and they confirmed it, although it is almost impossible to find information about this outside the extremely highly specialized British books (only the MicroNOR II modification for the Ferranti Argus 400 1966 is generally known on the Internet) of the year).

As far as is known, STC did not develop ICs for commercial production, although they did make hybrid devices. Marconi-Elliot made commercial microcircuits, but in extremely small quantities, and almost no information about them has survived even in British sources of those years. As a result, all 4 British companies completely missed the transition to third-generation cars, which began actively in the United States in the mid-1960s and even in the USSR at about the same time - here the British even lagged behind the Soviets.

In fact, having missed the technical revolution, they were also forced to catch up with the United States, and in the mid-1960s, Great Britain (represented by ICL) was not at all opposed to uniting with the USSR to produce a new single line of mainframes, but this is a completely different story.

In the USSR, even after the breakthrough publication of Bell Labs, the transistor did not become a priority for the Academy of Sciences.

At the VII All-Union Conference on Semiconductors (1950), the first post-war, almost 40% of the reports were devoted to photoelectricity and not a single one to germanium and silicon. And in high scientific circles they were very scrupulous about the terminology, calling the transistor a "crystal triode" and trying to replace "holes" with "holes". At the same time, Shockley's book was translated with us immediately after its publication in the West, but without the knowledge and permission of Western publishing houses and Shockley himself. Moreover, in the Russian version, the paragraph containing the “idealistic views of the physicist Bridgman, with whom the author fully agrees,” was excluded, while the preface and notes were full of criticism:

"The material is not presented consistently enough … The reader … will be deceived in his expectations … A serious drawback of the book is the silence of the works of Soviet scientists."

Numerous notes were given, "which should help the Soviet reader to understand the author's erroneous statements."The question is why such a crappy thing was translated, not to mention using it as a textbook on semiconductors.

Turning point 1952

The turning point in understanding the role of transistors in the Union came only in 1952, when a special issue of the US radio engineering journal "Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers" (now IEEE) was published, completely devoted to transistors. At the beginning of 1953, the unyielding Berg decided to put the squeeze on the topic he had begun 9 years ago, and went with the trump cards, turning to the very top. At that time, he was already deputy defense minister and prepared a letter to the Central Committee of the CPSU on the development of similar work. This event was superimposed on the session of VNTORES, at which Losev's colleague, BA Ostroumov, made a big report “Soviet priority in the creation of crystal electronic relays based on the work of OV Losev”.

By the way, he was the only one who honored his colleague's contribution. Prior to that, in 1947, in several issues of the journal Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk, reviews of the development of Soviet physics over thirty years were published - "Soviet studies on electronic semiconductors", "Soviet radiophysics over 30 years", "Soviet electronics over 30 years", and about Losev and his studies of kristadin are mentioned only in one review (B.I.Davydova), and even then in passing.

By this time, on the basis of the 1950s, OKB 498 had developed the first Soviet serial diodes from DG-V1 to DG-V8. The topic was so secret that the neck was removed from the details of the development already in 2019.

As a result, in 1953, a single special NII-35 (later "Pulsar") was formed, and in 1954 the Institute of Semiconductors of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR was organized, the director of which was Losev's chief, Academician Ioffe. At NII-35, in the year of opening, Susanna Madoyan creates the first sample of a planar alloyed germanium p-n-p transistor, and in 1955 their production begins under the brands KSV-1 and KSV-2 (hereinafter P1 and P2). As the aforementioned Nosov recalls:

“It is interesting that the execution of Beria in 1953 contributed to the rapid formation of NII-35. At that time, SKB-627 was located in Moscow, in which they tried to create a magnetic anti-radar coating, Beria took over the enterprise. After his arrest and execution, the SKB management prudently disbanded without waiting for the consequences, the building, personnel and infrastructure - everything went to the transistor project, by the end of 1953 the whole group of A.V. Krasilov was here”.

Whether it is a myth or not, remains on the conscience of the author of the quote, but knowing the USSR, this could well have been.

In the same year, industrial production of KS1-KS8 point transistors (an independent analogue of Bell Type A) began at the Svetlana plant in Leningrad. A year later, the Moscow NII-311 with a pilot plant was renamed the Sapfir NII with the Optron plant and reoriented to the development of semiconductor diodes and thyristors.

Throughout the 1950s, in the USSR, almost simultaneously with the USA, new technologies for the manufacture of planar and bipolar transistors were developed: alloy, alloy-diffusion and mesa-diffusion. To replace the KSV series in NII-160, F. A. Shchigol and N. N. Spiro began serial production of point transistors S1G-S4G (the C series case was copied from Raytheon SK703-716), the production volume was several dozen pieces per day.

How was the transition from these dozens to the construction of a center in Zelenograd and the production of integrated microcircuits accomplished? We will talk about this next time.

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