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Herbert Mataré

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Herbert Mataré

Herbert F. Mataré (1950)

Herbert Franz Mataré (22 September 1912 – 2 September 2011[1]) was a German physicist. The focus of his research was the field of semiconductor research. His best-known work is the first functional "European" transistor, which he developed and patented together with Heinrich Welker in the vicinity of Paris in 1948, at the same time and independently from the Bell Labs engineers. The final 20 years of his life Mataré split time between his homes in Hückelhoven, Germany and Malibu, California. Born in Aachen, he was the nephew of the sculptor Ewald Mataré (1887–1965) and father of architect Vitus Mataré (1955.)


Mataré completed his studies in mathematics, chemistry, electrochemistry, nuclear physics and solid-state physics at the Technical University of Aachen with degree "Diplom-Ingenieur" in Applied Physics. In addition, he studied mathematics, physics and chemistry at the University of Geneva.[2]

In 1939 he joined the Telefunken research laboratory in Berlin. At that time it became obvious that the miniaturization of vacuum tubes had met a technical limit and that alternative solutions had to be sought using solid state circuits and principles of the previous transistor inventions of Julius Edgar Lilienfeld, Oskar Heil, Walter Schottky and Robert Wichard Pohl.

Because of the massive air raids on Berlin in 1943, the Telefunken laboratory were moved to the Cisterian abbey in Lubiąż (Leubus) Silesia, where Mataré focused on the improvement of the cm-wave (SHF) receiver sensitivity.

In 1944, as the Russian army closed in, the site and most of its equipment were abandoned and the operation was transferred to Thuringia. Later Mataré taught physics and mathematics in Wabern near Kassel and gave lectures at the Aachen university, and he was invited to build a semiconductor diode plant for Compagnie des Freins & Signaux Westinghouse in Aulnay-sous-Bois near Paris.

Herbert F. Mataré (1990)

Academic degrees

1933 BS Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry Aachen; University of Geneva
1939 MS (Dipl.-Ing.) Physics Technische Hochschule Aachen
1942 PhD (Dr.-Ing.) Electronics Technische Hochschule Berlin
1950 PhD (Dr. sc. phys) Solid State Physics École Normale Supérieure (ENS) Paris

Important Work

At the same time as the American researchers and independently, the German researchers Mataré and Heinrich Welker developed the first operational "French transistor" at Compagnie des Freins & Signaux Westinghouse in Aulnay-sous-Bois near Paris during the years 1945 to 1948. They filed their first transistor patent application on August 13, 1948.[3][4] On 18 May 1949, this European invention coined as the "Le Transistron" was presented to the public.

In 1951/1952, Mataré founded Intermetall in Düsseldorf, the world's first company which offered diodes and transistors.[2]

Awards (selection)



The following list can only present a part of the more than 80 patents which Mataré has filed.

  • US 2552052  H. F. Mataré: „Push-pull converter of the crystal type for ultra-short waves“ filed in France on May 23, 1947
  • FR 1010427  H. F. Mataré/H. Welker/Westinghouse: „Nouveau système cristallin à plusieurs électrodes réalisant des effects de relais électroniques“ filed on August 13, 1948
  • US 2673948  H. F. Mataré/H. Welker/Westinghouse: „Crystal device for controlling electric currents by means of a solid semiconductor“ french priority date August 13, 1948

Controversial views

Mataré had contributed articles to the controversial journal [7]


  1. ^ The Wikimedia Support Team has a scan of Mataré's obituary under Ticket:2011092210019198
  2. ^ a b , at, retrieved 22-09-2013The "French" transistor.Armand Van Dormael:
  3. ^ FR 1010427  H. F. Mataré / H. Welker / Westinghouse: "Nouveau sytème cristallin à plusieurs électrodes réalisant des relais de effects électroniques" filed on August 13, 1948
  4. ^ US 2673948  H. F. Mataré / H. Welker / Westinghouse, "Crystal device for controlling electric currents by means of a solid semiconductor" French priority August 13, 1948
  5. ^ (2008-11-14)DIE WELT ONLINE „Der deutsche Erfinder des Transistors“ November 14, 2008 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Birx, James H. (1984). Neo-Darwinism and Neo-Social Darwinism. The Great Evolution Mystery by Gordon Rattray Taylor; Conscientious Evolution by Herbert F. Mataré. BioScience 34: 196-197. "Mataré believes that "genetic reasoning in a scientific manner" discloses that humanity consists of inferior (sick) and superior (healthy) groups, with only the former rapidly increasing in numbers... His own unfortunate elitist and purist position is a myopic view of our species which holds that Negroes, Mexicans, and Indians are genetically inferior peoples. In fact, he even singles out black populations as exemplary of those allegedly lower races of genetic insufficiency that lack imagination, intellectual acumen, and the ability to excel in the natural sciences."

External links

  • Herbert Mataré in the German National Library catalogue
  • Peter Salomon: „Deutsche Halbleiter-Technik vor 1945 ?“
  • Armand van Dormael: "The „french“ transistor" at, retrieved 22-09-2013
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