Edit Proposal: Milestone-Proposal:Amorphous Silicon TFT Switches You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: You are not currently logged in. The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Users. Please log in or create an account. Docket ID: (admins only) Thank you for proposing a technical achievement for possible recognition as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing. Your efforts help preserve the heritage of technology. Detailed information on the Milestone application process may be found at: Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone. At least one of the proposer(s) must be an IEEE Member (including Student Member) in good standing. To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? If the answer is "yes", the proposal cannot proceed further. Yes No You must be able to answer "yes" to all of the following questions. If the answer to any of the following questions is "no", the proposal cannot proceed further. Contact us at email@example.com if you are unable to answer "yes" to all of the following and would still like to proceed. Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes No Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes No Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes No Was it of at least regional importance? Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes No Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes No Has the owner of the site given permission to place an IEEE plaque? Yes No Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred: Title of the proposed milestone. (Include date or date range in title. Example: “Alternating Current Electrification, 1886”) Please provide a plaque citation in English summarizing the achievement and its significance. Text absolutely limited by plaque dimensions to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. NOTE: The IEEE History Committee shall have final determination on the wording of the citation. Names of living persons are not normally used in citations. Exceptions to this are cases where the person's name is linked to the achievement itself (e.g. the Lempel-Ziv algorithm, Maxwell's Equations, etc.) or where the person's name is so widely recognizeable to the general public that it makes sense to use it. When used, the names should be the names of the engineers, scientists, or technologists who actually made the achievement, rather than managers or executives. For more information and suggestions about writing milestone citations, please visit Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations. A research team in the Physics department of Dundee University, Scotland demonstrated in 1979 that amorphous silicon field-effect transistors were able to switch liquid crystal arrays. Other semiconductor thin film materials had been found to be unsuitable for deposition on large area substrates. The invention laid the foundation for the commercial development of flat panel television displays. In what IEEE section(s) will the milestone plaque(s) reside? Please specify the IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone, and supply name and contact information for the senior officer from those OU(s). Sponsorship has three aspects: 1) Payment for the cost of the plaque(s), 2) Arranging the dedication ceremony, and 3) agreeing to monitor the plaque and to let IEEE History Center staff know in case the plaque needs to be moved, is no longer secure, etc. Number 3 must be done by the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) is located, but aspects 1 and 2 can be done by any IEEE Organizational Unit, and they need not be the same one. Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address. IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s) Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque IEEE Section: IEEE Section Chair name: IEEE Section Chair e-mail: IEEE Section: IEEE Section Chair name: IEEE Section Chair e-mail: Milestone proposer(s) Proposer name: Proposer email: Proposer name: Proposer email: Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s). Please include coordinates in decimal format rather than degrees. What is the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s) relation to the achievement? The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque. Also, please Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). (e.g. Is it corporate buildings? Historic Site? Residential? Are there other historical markers already at the site?) Are the original buildings extant? Please provide the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. How is the intended plaque site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public? If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give details as well as the contact information visitors will need in order to arrange to visit the plaque. Who is the present owner of the site(s)? In the space below, please describe in detail: the historic significance of the achievement, its importance to the evolution of electrical and computer engineering and science, its importance to regional/national/international development, its benefits to humanity, the ways the achievement was a significant advance rather than an incremental improvement of existing technology. The material submitted here will constitute the main descriptive article on the ETHW website for readers to learn about the milestone. Space is unlimited, and detail is encouraged. Most milestones require 1000 to 1500 words of support, however there is no word limit. The article should be readable by a wide audience that includes practicing engineers, scholars of history, and the general public. Some examples of the text of good milestone articles are First Radio Astronomical Observations Using Very Long Baseline Interferometry] and G3_Facsimile International Standardization of G3 Facsimile (Do not worry about the formatting of the page, IEEE History Center Staff will do that afterwards.) What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? The cathode ray tube (CRT) provided the principal means for displaying dynamic images from the 1930s until the advent of liquid crystal displays in the 1960s and 1970s. The standard level of definition for practical devices suitable for high data rate applications such as television, required that millions of pixels needed to be addressed for each frame to be displayed. This presented no special problem for electron beams scanned across a phosphor screen, but in a flat liquid crystal display direct electrical connection to each element was an essential requirement. At the selected pixel a switching voltage had to be supplied to turn on the local zone of the liquid crystal film for a very short time interval. This action allowed the back-lit light source to be viewed by the observer in front of the display. The complexity of connecting such a large and compact array of elements required a wiring matrix on a microscopic scale that could only be achieved by using a conducting film from which the circuitry could be fabricated. By using the film in the form of an amorphous silicon layer Spear and LeComber were able to design a series of switching transistors able to perform the necessary switching function at each pixel. Their breakthrough pointed the way for the manufacture of large flat panel displays. What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome? The biggest challenge in the way of achieving progress was the lack of available semiconducting materials with the right properties to allow switching devices to be integrated into the backplane of the display. Thin film transistors (TFTs) had been fabricated earlier using deposited semiconductors but none was suitable for a commercial device. It was accepted that deposited films of semiconductor materials were generally of poor quality, compared with single crystal materials. The group at Dundee adapted the method used by Stirling, in which hydrogen was added to amorphous silicon, producing a-Si:H, allowing n-type and p-type doping to be possible. Transistors manufactured in 1978 using the a-Si:H material showed great promise as switching devices. The Dundee group demonstrated in 1979 that a TFT array for LCDs was feasible. The most important advance over the previous attempts by the RCA group was that a stable semiconducting layer had been developed. What features set this work apart from similar achievements? The concept of incorporating a switching device at each pixel of a flat panel display was first proposed by the RCA group of Weimer in 1961. It was not until a material able to be deposited over a large area suitable for a flat panel display became available that the invention could be used in a practical device. The semiconducting properties of thin layers or films are quite different from those of single crystal or polycrystalline versions. For example, conventional devices such as bipolar or field-effect transistors made from such films have generally poor performance. The Dundee group discovered that TFTs made from films of amorphous silicon to which hydrogen had been added (a-Si:H) could be used as effective switching devices. Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. The full reference, in English, must be uploaded, not just the citation. See below section for details on uploading material to the website. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation. The most significant references are provided with this submission, and are on file with the staff of the IEEE History Center. The following references have been chosen in support of the Milestone application for the recognition of the work of the Dundee University, Scotland, to develop amorphous silicon switches for flat panel displays.<br> 1. Peter LeComber and Walter Spear in 1979 conducted the first successful experiments that demonstrated the feasibility of using thin films of amorphous silicon in large area flat panel displays. It is cited in references a, b, c, and d as the most significant advance in flat panel technology. <br> 2. Paul Weimer had reported in 1962 that it was possible to produce transistor action in thin film field effect devices. His paper announced the arrival of this new type of transistor which eventually became the preferred choice of switching device for flat panel displays. <br> 3. Peter Brody and his team at Westinghouse Research reported their work on a ‘state of the art’ liquid crystal display that demonstrated that, in principle, practical-size substrates could be employed using directly addressed discrete thin film silicon transistors. <br> 4. Howard’s 1992 paper reviews the progress achieved with thin-film transistor/liquid crystal displays. He cites the work of LeComber and Spear with the comment that ‘the report of an amorphous silicon TFT by LeComber et al in 1979 must be considered a major milestone’. <br> 5. The paper by Hilsum in 2016 points out that the use of amorphous silicon by LeComber and Spear was entirely novel and unexpected, and followed a long sequence of unsuccessful attempts by other groups to use deposited films of other materials for fabticating the switching matrix. <br> 6. The paper by Depp and Howard in 1993 notes that the advantage of the approach adopted by LeComber and Spear was that was cheaper than the alternatives, and therefore more commercially viable, and that the processing was simpler. <br> 7. The review paper by Kuo in 2013 also cites the LeComber and Spear work as providing ‘the breakthrough in the field’. <br><br> In summary, these references confirm that the progress achieved since the 1960s towards a flat panel display using liquid crystals was punctuated with many disappointments. The lack of success in trying to use conventional semiconductor technology continued until the Dundee University group showed that amorphous silicon offered a better solution. Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC) which can be made publicly available on the IEEE History Center’s website (i.e. unencumbered by copyright, or with the copyright holder’s permission). All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Images and photographs are especially appreciated, however, it is necessary that you list the copyright owner for these and obtain the copyright owner’s permission to reuse. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information. To add attachments, first upload the file and add by adding the text: [[Media:(filename)]] For example, if the file you uploaded was named "Milestone Reference.pdf", include the text: [[Media:Milestone Reference.pdf]] in the appropriate field. Supporting materials are provided with this submission. Because of copyright, they may not be posted here. However, copies are on file with the staff of the IEEE History Center. Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to email@example.com with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s). Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. Only check this when the proposal is finished Summary: This is a minor edit Watch this page Cancel Retrieved from "http://ieeemilestones.ethw.org/Milestone-Proposal:Amorphous_Silicon_TFT_Switches"