In 1970, Swiss physicist Martin Schadt created the world's first flat-panel liquid crystal display, better known as an LCD. Working in a lab at the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel, he discovered that jolting liquid crystals with electricity would cause their spiral molecular structures to ‘unwind' and become opaque.
The next step was to sandwich the crystals between two plates of plastic attached to an electric grid. By activating only tiny sections of the grid at a time, Schadt discovered that individual "pixels" could be manipulated with electricity to alter their light transmission, making them appear either transparent or opaque. Their low energy requirements meant LCDs could be operated with ordinary batteries, optimising them for consumer use.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||If you are looking for a television nowadays you simply cannot avoid this technology: LCD. It dominates the market.
||LCD technology is not just found in TV sets but everywhere. It is in tablets, Smartphones and many other display systems.
||As the inventor of LCD technology, Martin Schadt from Switzerland has made all of these possible. For his life's work, Schadt has been nominated for the European Inventor Award. This is much deserved recognition.Martin Schadt always had an interest in a field of research that was long considered exotic.
||IV Martin Schadt in German:?Ich habe nie damit gerechnet, für den europäischen Erfinderpreis nominiert zu werden, das kam für mich als große Überraschung."Translation:"I never thought I would be nominated for the European Inventor Award. That was huge surprise"
||The story goes back forty years. Nowadays we find lots of devices in nearly every household that have liquid crystal screens.
||Even Martin Schadt finds himself surrounded by his own invention every day. It is simply everywhere. From the alarm clock to the washing machine display, from the PC to the treadmill, all of these displays use Schadt's LCD technology.
||This is how it works.
||An LCD is composed of a layer of liquid crystals, which are lit up from behind. Using varying electrical voltage, the crystals can either transmit light or not. In this way you can create an image on the display.
||Today this is commonplace. But Martin Schadt had to overcome lots of obstacles before he could create his invention. Especially early on in his career.
||IV Martin Schadt in German:?In den 1970er Jahren waren organische Materialien mit einer Funktion, die waren suspekt, die Elektronik, die hat das nicht geliebt. Die dachten, das ist ein exotisches Gebiet und das wird nie eine breite Anwendung finden!"Translation:"In the 1970's organic materials with a function were not highly regarded in the field of electronics. The thought was that this was an exotic area that would never have a broad application!"
||This was a mistake!! The first digital watches paved the way. Their manufacturers were looking for energy-efficient lightweight displays.
||Martin Schadt then developed a prototype. He guards it like a treasure, because this unit serves as the basis for today's LCD technology!
||IV Martin Schadt in German:?Was Sie hier sehen, das ist ein sehr primitiver Prototyp natürlich. Das war der erste Drehzellendisplay damals, ich habe mir das nicht vorstellen können, dass das ein weltweiter Erfolg wird. Das war nicht voraussehbar aus sehr vielen Gründen, es gab einfach eine ganze Menge technische und wissenschaftliche Probleme, die noch zu lösen waren."Translation:"What you see here is of course a primitive prototype. This was the first rotating cell display and at the time I never imagined that this would become such a huge international success. There is no way we could have predicted this for many reasons. There was a mountain of technical and scientific problems that needed to be resolved first."
||Schadt solved them all. The Swiss' invention has developed into a huge market. In 2012, 120 billion US dollars were spent on devices using LCD technology. While millions of people have profited from this groundbreaking technology, the inventor himself has also benefited personally.
||IV Martin Schadt in German:?Im Alter sieht man nicht mehr so gut und ich stand vor der Entscheidung, eine neue Brille zu kaufen oder einen neuen Monitor, dann habe ich mir einen neuen Monitor gekauft ? wunderbar!"Translation:"As you get older, your vision gets worse and I was trying to decide whether to buy a new pair of glasses or a new monitor. I went with the monitor! Fantastic!"
||LCD technology has changed our everyday lives. Inventor Martin Schadt has been nominated for the European Patent Office's Inventor Award. On 28 May, an independent international jury will decide whether he goes home with the Technology Oscar.