Stanford Ovshinsky passed away on October 17, 2012 at the age of 89. Ovshinsky was a leader in the scientific movement by being a self-taught scientist who has a laundry list of success stories. Just to name a few, he invented the nickel-metal hydride battery, helped develop solar energy panels, flat-panel displays, and rewrite-able compact disks. One of his most acclaimed discoveries came when he realizes that other types of less regimented materials could act as semiconductors. He was credited for “the principle that small quantities or thin films of amorphous materials exposed to a charge can instantly reorganize their structures into semicrystalline forms capable of carrying significant current.” From this discovery, he founded the Energy Conversion Laboratories (renamed Energy Conversion Devices) with his second wife to use his discovery for practical purposes. At the lab, he developed solar-powered calculators, a nickel-metal battery used in hybrid cars and other electronics, and thin film solar cells. Oshvinsky and his wife were proud supporters of renewable energy and predicted the problems the world would face in terms of climate change and oil dependency. Because of that belief, he was also involved in promoting hydrogen fuel cells. Between all of these accomplishments, Oshvinsky was a very loved man by his family and friends who supported him. He is sometimes referred to as the “Edison of Our Age” because of his intelligence and want to put his ideas into more practical solutions.
Source: NY Times Stanford Ovshinsky Dies at 89, a Self-Taught Maverick in Eletronics