This year's winners of the Society for Information Display's Honors and Awards include Dr. Rudolf Eidenschink, who will receive the Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize for his invention and development of low-birefringence, fast-responding, and highly stable phenyl-cyclohexane (PCH) and bi-cyclohexane (CCH) liquid-crystal families; Dr. Hideo Hosono, who will be awarded the Jan Rajchman Prize for his invention and development of high-performance transparent thin-film amorphous oxide semiconductors with large electron mobility; Scott Daly, who will receive the Otto Schade Prize for his many contributions to the enhancement of image quality and display performance; and Dr. Shin-Tson Wu, who will be awarded the Slottow-Owaki Prize in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the education and training of graduate students and professionals in the field of flat-panel displays.
by Jenny Donelan
SERENDIPITY has played a part in the careers of many of the individuals honored by the Society for Information Display this year. One scientist whose research would eventually contribute to the commercial success of LCDs encountered liquid crystals by chance in one of his first jobs. At the time, LCs were considered non-essential and non-viable for business purposes. Another young researcher awoke to the possibilities of his future field on hearing an industry pioneer describe amorphous semiconductors. Yet another honoree was lucky enough to be born in a time when he could merge his interests in art and science into new discoveries about visual perception. And a lab researcher with no prior teaching experience discovered that he had a gift for inspiring students to do great work.
So, it is true that all this year's winners were lucky in being at the right place at the right time, but it is also true that they made their own luck. They kept their eyes open and stayed receptive to new ways of doing things. As Jan Rajchtman prizewinner Dr. Hideo Honsono puts it, although it is valuable to contribute to the improvement of existing technology, "It is revolutionary materials that open new frontiers." We owe this year's honors and awards recipients a debt of gratitude for their farsightedness and their willingness to recognize the possibility in new, as-yet-untested technologies.
This year's winners will be honored by the Society for Information Display during Display Week 2011 at the annual awards banquet to be held on Monday evening, May 16, prior to the Symposium. Tickets for this event are available in advance only by registering atwww.sid2011.org.
Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize
This award is presented for an outstanding technical achievement in, or contribution to, display technology.
Dr. Rudolf Eidenschink, SID Fellow and Founder and President of Nematel, has received the Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize "for his invention and development of low-birefringence, fast-responding, and highly stable phenyl-cyclohexane (PCH) and bi-cyclohexane (CCH) liquid-crystal families, enabling the advancement of thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal displays (TFT-LCDs)."
Dr. Rudolf Eidenschink
Dr. Eidenschink spent many years at Merck Darmstadt, where he did most of his pioneering work as a key liquid-crystal research chemist in the synthesis of PCH and CCH liquid crystals.
"Dr. Rudolf Eidenschink is one of the most outstanding pioneers in the field of liquid-crystal material research and development," according to Dr. Haruyoshi Takatsu, company Fellow of DIC Corporation. "The phenyl cyclohexane liquid crystals (PCHs) Dr. Eidenschink invented in 1977 showed a new concept of liquid crystals linking directly between a benzene and a cyclohexane ring, and extended the applications of LCDs due to the high stability and excellent properties."
At the age of 16, Eidenschink was working as an apprentice in a large chemical factory when he began to notice the work that engineers were doing to make chemical reactions occur on a large scale. This kind of work impressed him, and he continued in the field of chemistry, working at AEG and earning a doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Münster. He was also granted a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Sussex in England. Upon his return to Germany, Eidenschink joined the liquid-crystal research department of the chemical company Merck KGaA.
"At the time," says Eidenschink, "knowledge of the liquid-crystal state was not very great in chemistry." In fact, liquid crystals – "fluessige Kristalle" in German – were often referred to as "ueberfluessige Kristalle" (superfluous crystals) because of their lack of relevance to profitable business models. However, notes Eidenschink, "having seen the first pocket calculator with a TN cell, it was clear to me that this was the beginning of a never-ending story. There was no technique to compete with it in terms of low energy consumption and use of space. [Liquid-crystal] TV screens, however, were dismissed as science fiction."
In his career at Merck and later on, Eidenschink was responsible for or involved in more than 60 journal articles and approximately 120 patents. In 1987, he founded his own research and development company, Nematel, Inc., in Mainz. He notes that the display industry represents an "exciting overlap" of different fields of knowledge. It is an industry that keeps you young, he says, "because you are steadily being reexamined in physics, engineering, and chemistry."
Jan Rajchman Prize
This award is presented for an outstanding scientific or technical achievement in, or contribution to, research on flat-panel displays.
Dr. Hideo Hosono, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has received the Jan Rajchman Prize "for his invention and development of high-performance transparentthin-film amorphous oxide semiconductors with large electron mobility, especially InGaZnOx, for use in active-matrix-addressed displays."
Dr. Hideo Hosono
A backplane TFT array is the central building block of active displays. To date, amorphous hydrogenated Si (a-Si:H), which was invented by Spear and LeComber in 1975, has been widely used as the channel layer of TFTs for active-matrix LCDs. However, because the mobility in a-Si:H is low, this technology is not as suitable for active-matrix OLED displays as it is for AMLCDs. The next generation of LCDs, with larger dimensions and frame frequencies of 240 or 480 Hz for 3-D displays, also demands new backplane TFT technology with higher mobility. In addition, future flexible display technologies will demand TFTs that can be fabricated by a low-temperature process.
Dr. Hosono's research efforts have resulted in creating technology that may answer the above challenges. He has invented a new class of semiconductor, transparent amorphous oxide semiconductors (TAOS), which meet the above requirements of high mobility and easy formation at low temperature through conventional sputtering methods.
According to Hideya Kumomi, "Prof. Hosono's invention with the first demonstration of high-performance amorphous In-Ga-Zn-O TFTs in 2004 opened up a new field of transparent amorphous oxide semiconductor (TAOS) TFTs, based on a theoretical hypothesis he established in 1996. Today, TAOS TFTs occupy the majority of technical meeting and journal papers for TFTs and displays and are regarded as the most promising backplane technology for the next-generation of active-matrix flat-panel displays (FPDs). Such a revolution has come not only through Professor Hosono's pioneering work or the inherent excellent characteristics of TAOS, but from his continuous contributions to rapid progress in TAOS TFT technology." Such contributions include publishing many papers that clarify fundamental scientific issues with regard to the electrical and structural properties of TAOS and presenting information about these results in both academic and industrial settings. "We may expect commercialization of TAOS TFT-based FPDs soon," says Kumomi.
Hosono first became interested in his field as a graduate student when he heard a talk by Dr. Kazunobu Tanaka about amorphous semiconductors. Until that time, he says, he had not considered that amorphous material such as glass had anything to do with semiconductors, but Tanaka's original approach and enthusiasm impressed him. Ten years then passed before Hosono began to focus on ionic semiconductors. At the time, "almost no cultivation of iconic semiconductors such as oxides had been performed," he says. He developed a material design to realize a TAOS with high electron mobility and presented a paper on it at the 16th International Conference on Amorphous Semiconductors (ICAS) held in Kobe, Japan, in 1995. Interest in a-Si was so high at the time, he remarks, that his paper was the only one on amorphous oxide. Nine years later, interest in TAOS had grown to thepoint where a review paper Hosono had written on it was chosen as a plenary lecture at that year's ICAS. Hosano began that talk by saying, "This is a kind of revenge for ICAS 16."
He advises those entering the field of research to be alert for novel concepts in materials. Incremental improvements of existing technology are indispensable for industrial applications, he explains, but eventually reach their limit. "It is revolutionary materials that open new frontiers."
Dr. Hosono received his Ph.D. in applied chemistry from Tokyo Metropolitan University in 1982 and became a professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1999.
Otto Schade Prize
The Otto Schade Prize is awarded for an outstanding scientific or technical achievement in, or contribution to, the advancement of functional performance and/or image quality of information displays.
Scott Daly, a Senior Member, Engineering and Color Science, with Dolby Laboratories, is receiving the Otto Schade Prize "for his many contributions to the enhancement of image quality and display performance, including the development of image/video/display algorithms incorporating advanced models of the human visual system and methods for visualizing maps of visible image distortions."
Daly's career over the past 25+ years represents a unique mix of science and art. In addition to degrees in electrical engineering and bioengineering, "I've been interacting with imagery ever since I could pick up a pencil," says Daly. Early experiences working in stage lighting were followed by work in photography, electronic art, and television displays – all of which fed a lifelong interest in visual perception.
Today, Daly is most often cited for his work on a model developed for determining the perceptibility of image distortions (what artifacts and distortions were likely to occur) as well as the visualization of those distortions in a map known as the VDP (Visible Differences Predictor). The VDP combined knowledge of spatial channels, transducer functions, and contrast masking to provide a practical model of the visibility of artifacts in images. An extension of this work, the HDR-VDP (High Dynamic Range Visible Differences Predictor), which was developed with Max Planck Institute researchers, has become a commonly downloaded tool for quality analysis and image-quality benchmarking.
His main focus has been in developing algorithms based on human-vision models for applications within display and imaging system products. Some of these include display-adaptive tone-mapping, field-of-view expansion via display vibration compensation, skin-cognizant color processing, and many more. He holds more than 50 patents and has received a number of awards, including an Emmy in 1990 for helping develop the Kodak Video Transceiver used in the coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests.
Says SID Fellow Louis Silverstein, "Otto Schade made many fundamental contributions to optics, image science, and imaging technology. But perhaps his greatest contributions were the recognition of the nexus between image science and vision science and the remarkable work that modeled and included the human visual system as an integral component of the imaging chain. Clearly, throughout his career Scott Daly has followed closely in the footsteps of Otto Schade while refining and expanding the creative vision which Otto Schade brought to the sciences of imaging and optics."
Daly's technical career began at Photo Electronic Corporation. He then moved to Eastman Kodak, where he worked in the areas of image compression, image-fidelity models, and image watermarking; then to Sharp Laboratories of America, where he was a Research Fellow and a Group Leader for the Display Algorithms and Visual Optimization Group. He joined Dolby Laboratories in 2010, where he now focuses on overall fundamental perceptual issues and on applications whose aim is to preserve artistic intent throughout the entire video path.
When asked about the challenges still facing today's display researchers, Daly first cited realism. "People are still not fooled by displays," he says. "They do not confuse them with reality." He also mentions the need for greater immersiveness (through haptics or touch) and convenience with regard to factors such as readability in both sunlight and dark environments. He is particularly excited about future-oriented vision-display interdisciplinary work incorporating displays in contact lenses as well as new developments in visual prostheses. Such technology could eventually lead to a retinal prosthesis that would enable the ultimate perceptual shift – allowing blind people to see.
The Slottow-Owaki Prize is awarded for outstanding contributions to the education and training of students and professionals in the field of information display.
Dr. Shin-Tson Wu, SID Fellow and professor for the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, is receiving the Slottow-Owaki Prize "in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the education and training of graduate students and professionals in the field of flat-panel displays."
Dr. Shin-Tson Wu
If students' achievements are an indication of a professor's success, then Dr. Shin-Tson Wu has by all measures been extraordinarily successful. In the last 7 years, his students have won more than 20 major honors, including SID Distinguished Student Paper Awards, Otto Lehmann Awards, and numerous SPIE educational scholarships. Since coming to the University of Central Florida in 2001, Wu has supervised 21 Ph.D. students, two master's students, 17 post-docs, and hosted approximately 15 visiting students and scholars. Each of his Ph.D. students publishes an average of 15 journal papers before graduating in 4–5 years' time. In 2010, Wu received the University of Central Florida's most distinguished faculty award, the title of Pegasus Professor, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the university community through teaching, research, and service.
Citing the number of students who have received honors under Wu's mentorship, Linghui Rao, President of the University's SID Student Chapter, says, "The competition for these awards is fierce. Professor Wu seems to have the magic power to turn an ordinary student into extraordinary." But awards do not tell the whole story. "Professor Wu equips us to be future display leaders," continues Rao. "He motivates us by telling us about his life experiences in both industry and academia." Many past students wrote SID about the extra steps that Wu took on their behalf, including Yi-Hsin Lin, now an Assistant Professor at National Chiao Tung University. "I still remember him telling me: 'Finding a good problem makes the difference between a good scientist and a bad scientist.' He trained me to think like a scientist and identify challenging problems. When the experimental results were not as expected, he encouraged me not to give up but to try different approaches. And when I faced difficulties in my research, he was always there to help."
Wu actually had little pedagogical training when he came to UCF. He had worked for Hughes Research Labs for 18 years, where he had gained a great deal of knowledge of liquid crystals in addition to his background in infrared lasers (his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California was on non-linear optics). "Since I came from an industrial research lab," says Wu," I did not know how to be a professor in the beginning. But I loved my students as my own children because they were about the same age as my daughter and son. It is love which shortens our gaps." As time went on, he also learned how to motivate his students. "I always challenge them to become a 'better you,' " he says. "I often assign the most difficult problems to first-year graduate students because they are fearless and they have fresh ideas. I also set monetary awards ($100–$500) to motivate students to solve challenging problems."
For those in the business of working with students or teams of any kind, Wu has these words to offer: "A team approach consisting of faculty, post-docs, and young graduate students is powerful. White hairs are symbols of wisdom, but students are dynamic and energetic. There is a Chinese proverb that says: three ordinary persons can together perform better than one extraordinary guy."
2011 SID Fellow Awards
Hyun Chul Choi, "For his significant contributions to the commercialization of large in-plane-switching (IPS) panels for TVs and monitors, including the development of a high-performance 9.7-in. XGA IPS panel."
Dr. Choi is a Vice President with LG Display Co., Ltd. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology).