LCD scientist receives Lifetime Achievement Award

30 May 2013

Swiss physicist Martin Schadt received a lifetime achievement award given to him by the European Patent Office, in recognition of his pioneering work in LCD development, dating back to the 1970s.

Modest Schadt, in his acceptance speech, noted that ‘many people’ had contributed to the advancement of the technology over the years.

When he first began working on the project, Schadt had been looking at the problems with the first LCD screen in that it needed power consumption and high voltage. His research resulted in inventing a method of using spiral electrical jolts that unwound and twisted back showing light coming on and going off again. The method required just 3 volts to operate. Ironically, his initial LCD research was put aside by his then employer, who were busy working on other projects but was fortunately picked up again later. The LCD has been being tailored to consumers needs ever since.

Talking about the history of LCD in an interview with the BBC, Dr Schadt also reflected on the current big development in screen technology OLED. Stating his view that despite the promise of brighter colours, deeper blacks, thinner screens and lower electricity bills, he is not convinced OLED screens will ever match LCD equivalents on either price or lifespan.

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