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Memorial Tributes, Volume 11
first “vest-pocket transmitter” (1959). He did pioneering work on piezo-optics, and, in the mid-1960s, turned his attention to the optical properties of semiconductors and developed new experimental techniques for studying piezo-reflectivity. His work on thin-film magnetic heads anticipated the application of semiconductor manufacturing processes to hard disk head design (1966).
In 1970, Jerry and colleagues co-invented the surface-charge transistor, which Bell Labs had independently invented as the charge coupled device (CCD). Jerry’s patents contributed to the subsequent development of the CCD. He was also a leader in the early program at GE Global Research on a real-time ultrasonic imaging system for medical diagnostics. In February 1971, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore wrote to Jerry commending his work. “Your paper at the Solid State Circuits Conference was far and away the best of [those] relating to charge coupled devices,” Moore wrote.
In 1972, Jerry published an important paper on random access memory (RAM). In 1974, he co-developed and demonstrated the surface-charge correlator, which was 100 times faster than existing processors. In 1979, Nobel Laureate Leo Esaki honored Jerry by inviting him to give a series of lectures in Japan. Jerry won many industry awards, including IR-100 Awards in 1971 and 1974, and became a Coolidge Fellow in 1975 (GE’s highest honor for research and development). In 1976, he was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (for clarifying the understanding of interband tunneling and surface-charge transport and for their application to new devices). In 1984, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering; his citation reads, “For his creativity and leadership in developing advanced electronics for communications, medical diagnostics, radar, and video information processing.” He joined the Whitney Gallery of Technical Achievers at General Electric in 1990.
Jerry was a natural problem solver. His 135 patents ranged from a super-pure laboratory-made diamond to a mirror that reflected without the “mirror image,” from a fail-safe circuit breaker to an automatic ice maker that produced ice cubes that