• Aug 15, 1927
    (b.) -
    Mar 10, 2013


An early pioneer in transistors, for 12 years he served as President of Bell Laboratories (also known as Bell Labs and formerly known as AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories). Born in Southport, England, in 1948 he received his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University. In 1952 he received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cambridge. In 1952 William Shockley hired him to work in semiconductors at Bell Labs, and he arrived in Murray Hill just after John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain had left. Shockley's group focused exclusively on transistor improvements, and he, along with G. C. Dacey were instrumental in the early stages of development of the field-effect transistor. In 1960 he and others invented epitaxy. Epitaxy refers to the deposition of an overlayer on a crystalline substrate, where the overlayer is in registry with the substrate. The overlayer is called an epitaxial film or epitaxial layer. For most technological applications, it is desired that the deposited material form a crystalline overlayer that has one well-defined orientation with respect to the substrate crystal structure (single-domain epitaxy). Epitaxy is used in silicon-based manufacturing processes for BJTs and modern CMOS, but it is particularly important for compound semiconductors such as gallium arsenide. He subsequently rose through managerial ranks, ultimately serving as the sixth President of Bell Labs 1979–1991 and overseeing its reorganization following the breakup of the Bell System. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, and Royal Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He received the 1963 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award "for contributions to the development of the epitaxial transistor and other semiconductor devices", the 1987 IRI Medal from the Industrial Research Institute in recognition for his contributions to technology leadership, the 1988 IEEE Founders Medal "for distinguished leadership of AT&T Bell Laboratories guiding innovation in telecommunications and information processing", and the 2001 Bueche Award "for his contributions to semiconductor development, his leadership of engineering for communications networks and the Apollo program, and his role in shaping national policies affecting the semiconductor industry." Among his published works are: G. C. Dacey and I. M. Ross, "Unipolar field-effect transistor", Proc. IRE 41, Aug. 1953, pp. 970–979; J. L. Moll, I. M. Ross, "The Dependence of Transistor Parameters on the Distribution of Base Layer Resistivity", Proc. IRE., vol. 42, 1954, page 1761; and G. C. Dacey and I. M. Ross, "Field Effect Transistor", Bell System Technical Journal, 34, page 1149, 1955.
  • Date of Birth:

    Aug 15, 1927
  • Date of Death:

    Mar 10, 2013
  • Noted For:

    Co-inventor of epitaxy, used in silicon-based manufacturing processes for BJTs and modern CMOS, but it is particularly important for compound semiconductors such as gallium arsenide
  • Category of Achievement:

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