DIY FET/home-made transistor Scientific American June 1970

When I was still in grade school, I (and this will be a shock to my readers) spent a lot of time in libraries. Our library used to have a free bin, where they would toss things that they no longer wanted in their collection. One day, I came by and found a pile of more than two decades of Scientific American magazines. Being a bit of a science nut, I carted them home, and spent many a happy evening reading Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games and C.L. Stong’s Amateur Scientist column. Stong’s column was really cool, and had great articles about building plasma jets, X-ray machines, diffraction ruling machines, and all sorts of other good stuff.

It was then with some suprise that I read Nyle Steiner’s article on making FET transistors from cadmium sulfide photocells, because he made reference to a 1970 article by Roger Baker that was about making home made FET transistors. I didn’t remember any such article. Luckily, I bought a CDROM which contains all the Amateur Scientist columns, and found it. And, indeed: it’s the second half of a two part column, and talks about the deposition of thin films. I guess I had never read it closely enough to see that it included the manufacture of a thin film transistor.

Here is a link to an online copy of the article.

The article also makes reference to THIN FILM MICROELECTRONICS: THE PREPARATION AND PROPERTIES OF COMPONENTS AND CIRCUIT ARRAYS which was available in preview mode on Google Books, and it seemed enticing enough that I decided to track down a copy via online search (I managed to find a copy for only $6 + $3.50 shipping). It seems like the level of this book might be within the reach of the dedicated amateur.

Good stuff.