Paternity of the “Czochralski method”

It seems that the first use of the German equivalent of the name “Czochralski method” was by Wartenberg just in 1918. In subsequent years other authors used similar name. Linder first used the English name the Czochralski method already in 1925 while Hoyem and Tyndall used “the Czochralski-Gomperz method” in 1928. It seems that after the publication of Buckley’s book “Crystal Growth” in 1951, the name of Czochralski method was widely spread and the name of Czochralski was definitively connected with the method of crystal pulling.

It is interesting to note that as early as 1954 Leifer and Dunlop referred to “the Czochralski technique” without citing the original paper by Czochralski, thus assuming that this method is widely known.

Jan Czochralski was a well known international scientist in the material science community, before World War II. Therefore, he and his work (on crystallography and X-ray diffraction, also) were known in the Unit¬ed States. His books were translated from German to other foreign languages. He organized several research metallurgical Laboratories in Germany and Poland and collaborated with a number of important metallurgical companies in other countries. Thus it is very difficult to imagine that the metallurgists at Bell Laboratories did not know of Czochralski’s work. Moreover, Teal clearly stated in his interview conducted in 1991 that he had set up his (growth) equipment in the metallurgists area and used certain parts of their equipment for his work. So while Teal and Little never actually cited Czochralski’s papers, they must have known of his method from their contact with metallurgical literature. As a result, the great invention by Teal and Little should be regarded as an application of a well known method to the growth of a new class of materials, i. e. semiconductor crystals. Even though they changed the material from metal to non-metal, the idea of Czochralski was essentially, unchanged!

All the information presented above strongly suggests that the main inventor of the crystal pulling method was Jan Czochralski. Teal did not publish any explanation on his own discovery of the method of pulling the crystals from the melt Only 40 years later, in the above-mentioned interview, did Teal suggest that he invented this method-by himself independent of others, during his trip by bus to Summit, NJ. But Teal’s advanced age at the time of this interview (85 years) could explain this misinterpretation of history.