Collection UR-SF 57 - Professor Walter E. Spear

Identity area

Reference code

UR-SF 57


Professor Walter E. Spear


  • 1951-1991 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.5 linear metres

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

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.

Archival history


Content and structure area

Scope and content

Published articles by W.E. Spear and collaborators. 1951-1986; 'Public Lectures'. 5 files. 1972-1989; 'Transparencies and Notes of some recent Lectures'. 7 files. n.d.; 'A-Solid Lectures'. 3 files. c 1970 - 1991; 'Amorphous Semiconductors: A new generation of electronic materials'. The Bakarian Lecture, delivered by W.E. Spear to the Royal Society on 16 June 1988; 'Scientific absurdities and curiosities'. 4 files. 1951-1989



System of arrangement

Usually chronological within series.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act (2018), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and any other relevant legislation or restrictions. Clinical information is closed for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges may be made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply; please check with the Duty Archivist.

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Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

The records are on paper

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Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

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Description control area

Description identifier

UR-SF 57

Rules and/or conventions used

Description compiled in line with the following standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description; International Council on Archives, ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997



Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English



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