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Title: Liquid Crystal Displays and LC-materials: Historical Reminiscence
Originating Office: IAS
Speaker: Schadt, Martin
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2012
Event Date: 7-Nov-2012
Group/Series/Folder: Record Group 8.15 - Institute for Advanced Study
Series 3 - Audio-visual Materials
Location: 8.15:3 box 1.8
Notes: IAS Distinguished Lecture.
Abstract: If one had asked a person in the streets in the early 1960s what liquid crystals (LC) were and what they could be used for, most would have shrugged their shoulders, wondering perhaps why crystals should be liquid. No practical liquid crystal devices were known at the time and most scientists and engineers considered them exotic and of academic interest only. The few liquid crystal molecules known were of poor stability and exhibited unpractical operating temperatures. However, among numerous other fascinating properties, LCs possess unusually large optical birefringence and dielectric anisotropy. This enables optical phenomena in very thin LC-films and electric switching. At the transition from electron tubes to low voltage and low power-consumption semiconductor electronics, this triggered interest of companies in liquid crystals.
In the talk the speaker will present an abstract of the historical development of today’s field-effect liquid crystal display (LCD) and nematic LC-material technologies.
Dr Martin Schadt received his PhD in Experimental Physics from the University of Basel in 1967. He patented the first organic light emitting display (OLED) in 1969 as a postdoctoral fellow at Canada’s National Research Council. He then joined the watch company Omega, where he investigated atomic beam standards. Two years later he became a member of the newly founded research group at the Central Research Center of Hoffmann-La Roche working on liquid crystal field-effects and LC-materials. Until 1994, Dr Schadt headed the Liquid Crystal Research Division of Roche, where he invented many new electro-optical effects, commercial liquid crystal materials and the photo-polymer liquid crystal alignment technology. Based on its photo-alignment technology, the Division was turned in 1994 into the spin-off company Rolic Technologies Limited, an interdisciplinary Research and Development Company which Dr Schadt built up and headed as CEO and delegate of the Board of Directors until his retirement from the operating business in 2002. He is currently active as a scientific advisor to research organizations and continues research in collaboration with partner companies as an independent inventor.
Dr Schadt became a Fellow of the Society Information Display in 1992 and a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences in 2011. He holds more than 106 US patents; each filed in 10-12 countries and has published 178 scientific papers and chapters in 4 books. He has received the numerous awards including the G W Gray Medal of the British Liquid Crystal Society, the Blaise Pascal Medal for Material Sciences of the European Academy of Sciences, the Frederiks Medal, highest recognition award of the Russian Liquid Crystal Society, and the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the US National Academy of Engineering (known as the “Engineering Nobel Prize”) together with Dr George Heilmeier, Dr Wolfgang Helfrich and the late Dr T Peter Brody.
Duration: 98 min.
Appears in Series:8.15:3 - Audio-visual Materials
Videos for Public -- Distinguished Lectures