Professor Walter E. Spear

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Professor Walter E. Spear

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Walter E. Spear was born in Germany in 1921 and came to Britain just before the war. After studying at the University of London he joined the University of Leicester, where he met Peter LeComber - one of his students and a future collaborator. The two joined the staff of the University of Dundee in 1969. The research of Spear and LeComber into amorphous silicon brought them much interest from the engineering world, and caught the attention of numerous companies and groups. The Dundee group made numerous innovations in this field including the creation of the amorphous film silicon transistor, later to be used to great effect in LCD technology. Spear garnered much international recognition for his work, including the European Physical Society Europhysics prize (1976) and the Max Born Medal and Prize for Physics (1977). Spear and his team published many papers on their research including two widely considered to be ground breaking: Substantial Doping of Amorphous Silicon. Solid State Communications, Volume 17. 1975 and Amorphous silicon field effect device and possible application. Electronics Letters, volume 15, 1979. (With P.G. LeComber and A. Ghaith) Peter LeComber died in 1992, and Spear withdrew from the field of active research soon after. He died on February 21st 2008, at the age of 87.

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