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» 2006 » Август » 25 » Ovshinsky, amorphous semiconductors
Ovshinsky, amorphous semiconductors
It reminds me of the invention of amorphous semiconductors by Ovshinsky. “Everybody knew” that a semiconductor had to have a crystalline structure, and – so they said – Ovshinsky was either a fool or a charlatan. They called him every name in the book, etc. But he persisted, and finally a Japanese company funded the effort. Then one day our beloved scientific community awoke to find that all the Xerox machines had Ovshinsky amorphous semiconductors in them and those semiconductors were working just fine. Bummer! No one ever apologized to Ovshinsky (who is doing well and still has his website, his company, and good success, etc.). But gradually the youngsters did doctoral theses on amorphous semiconductors and post docs got amorphous semiconductor programs funded to do work in. So that’s how our scientific community “discovered” and gradually adopted amorphous semiconductors. (The Amorphous Semiconductor (http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/ovshinsky.html); Stanford Ovshinsky)
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