Robert von Lieben

Robert von Lieben ( born September 5, 1878 in Vienna, † February 20, 1913 in Vienna) was an Austrian physicist. He invented the loving tube, the first electron tube amplifier effect that not only the structure of the German long-distance telephone network in 1912 enabled, but also the basis for many future inventions that required the amplification of electronic signals represented.


Robert von Lieben visited the Academic Gymnasium, then a junior high school in Vienna, but without finishing with the Matura.

Thanks to wealthy parents he could pursue his scientific pursuits, for example, he taught in his father's villa in the background Brühl electric lighting one.

After school, he went as a volunteer to the Schuckertwerke in Nuremberg. After a period as a guest student at the University of Vienna in 1899, he went for a year at the Göttingen Institute for Physical Chemistry of Walther Nernst, where he, however, did not reach a degree. Back in Vienna, he set up a laboratory. In 1904 he bought a phone factory in Olomouc.

1906 reported by loves his first patent, the cathode ray relay that the gain of transmission signals, or about the sound over a telephone line enabled for the first time. In the same year, the American inventor Lee de Forest filed a patent for a similar invention - the Audion tube, known today as the triode. After a patent of addition to improve his invention, attacked by loved ones in his third patent in 1910 de Forest's triode on to realize her further improvements that do not reach him with his own invention. That love of de Forest's patent could use to improve his own invention, was the fact that de Forest had raised only claims on the circuit as Audion, which took advantage of loved ones. The fact that the inventions of the two who apparently had the same goal with the amplification of transmitted signals, ever distinguished significantly and therefore the patent text had other patent claims, was again the fact that loved ones longer had the amplifier effect for the telephone traffic in mind while de Forest dealt with the wireless telegraphy and thus to improve the sensitivity of the radio reception. This led to a long-running legal dispute.

1928 Love Road facility in Vienna was named after the inventor.


Dealing with the invention, an electrochemical phonograph and the polarization of X-rays ( 1903), as well as the purchase of a telephone factory in 1904 prompted him to deal with the then still unresolved problem of amplification of the transmitted signals. This led on March 4, 1906 registration of its first and most important patent at the same time, that of the cathode ray relay ' - a telephone amplifier ( " telephone relay "), which under the control of a cathode beam ( electron beam) works through a magnetic field. In the patent text he describes as " by current fluctuations less energy those of greater energy " are triggered, " said frequency and waveform of the induced current fluctuations correspond to those of the triggering. [ ... ] In particular, for some problems of telephony ( transfer of voice over long distances, cable telephony, wireless telephony, reinforcement of voice and music transmission, etc.) can be the application of this relay is advantageous. To achieve this purpose, the detected property of Wehnelt glowing metal oxides is used to emit cathode rays, vacuum as a cathode at a relatively low potential ( about 200 volts). "

On March 30, 1910 reported by loved ones together with Eugen tear and Siegmund Strauss a patent for a "Relay for undulating currents " to. This was essentially an improvement of the first patent A contingent of application for this relay saw the patent " as a sound amplifier, a relay in the wire and Kabeltelegraphie in local and long-distance transport and in Wellentelegraphie and telephony, and also as auxiliary apparatus for telegraphone and for the electrical image transmission, etc. "

On December 7, 1910, he submitted his third patent, the so-called " lattice patent ," a - again together with zippers and ostrich. It was a further patent of addition, which allows a better proportional gain. As his attempts to do so with his cathode ray relay failed, he resorted to the invention Lee de Forest's, the 1906 's to the cathode ray relay comparable Audion tube, now called triode invented. Based on this triode, which differed from the cathode ray relay by an additional grid-like spread, auxiliary electrode, he could achieve a proportional gain, which de Forest was until then not been successful. This advantage over the Forest'schen tube ultimately led to the fact that Telefunken decided to Lieben'sche tube, its patents bought up and the further expansion took over.

This triode, which improved from loved ones, but still had a problem: The mercury vapor residual gases led to disturbing ionisation. The high vacuum could be technologically dominated until 1913. Through further experiments on the love tube had initially missed the connection to the high- vacuum technology in Germany, but already the first successor tubes were only modeled from the structure of the American tubes. From 1914/15 could dominate the high vacuum in Germany.

On July 13, 1911 finally succeeded loving fourth patent - again together with zippers and ostrich. It should increase the life of uniformity and efficiency of its relays.