Zworykin emigrated to the United States in 1919. He joined the Westinghouse Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in 1923 took out a patent for the iconoscope that could be used as a TV camera tube. The following year he added the kinescope (a TV receiver tube). After becoming director of electronic research for the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) he continued to work on producing an effective television set.
Working with James Hiller, Zworykin developed an electron microscope in 1939. During the Second World War he produced an electronic image tube that was sensitive to infrared light. This was used for several inventions that enabled soldiers in the war to see in the dark.
In 1957 Zworykin patented a device that used ultraviolet light and television to throw a colour picture of living cells on a screen. This paved the way for new biological investigations to take place. Vladimir Zworykin died in 1982.