Arguably the First Silicon Crystal Grown in
"Silicon Valley"

Using a novel technique invented by William Shockley and Victor Jones (United States Patent 2,979,386), this silicon crystal was grown by Jones around the middle of 1956 at the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory of Beckman Instruments, Palo Alto, California.  The crystal was "pulled" through a surface heater that was used to produce a molten pool of silicon in a solid silicon body held at a temperature just below the silicon melting point (see figure below).  The fundamental concept underlying the Shockley-Jones invention was that a silicon crystal would not be contaminated by crucible impurities if the effective "crucible" was formed in zone refined silicon.  The odd shaping was a result of changes (mostly intentional) in the power supplied to the surface heater.

For more details read The Story of the Infamous Crystal Grower.


Shockley-Jones Surface "Puddle" Silicon
Crystal Growth Technique
(United States Patent 2,979,386)

This page was prepared and is maintained by R. Victor Jones
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Last updated May 4, 2006