Louis Davies

Louis Walter Davies was a renowned Australian radiophysicist. He gained international scientific acclaim for his pioneering research on semiconductor devices. Davies studied Science and Engineering at the University of Sydney, but during his studies he joined the Royal Australian Air Force as a navigator. His war service won him the Rhodes Scholarship for New South Wales in 1948. Davies continued his studies and research at Oxford, where he worked at the famous Clarendon Laboratory.


In 1951 Davies returned to Sydney, and from 1951 to 1960 he worked as a research officer at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. He continued his career in two parallel directions – he held various positions at Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA) and worked part time as as Professor at the University of New South Wales, where he founded the Department of Solid State Electronics and conducted research on semiconductor devices and integrated circuit technology. Apart from these two careers, Professor Davies held many other positions and received numerous acknowledgements for his work. In 1976 he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Professor Davies died on 28 September 2001.

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1975 Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE)

1976 Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA)

1981 Commander Officer in the Order of Australia (AO)

1981 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, USA (FIEEE)

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics (FAIP)

Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Australia (FIEAust)

1. ’Spectroscopic investigations of velocities of electrons and ions in gas discharges’. DPhil thesis, Oxford University, June 1951.
2. ’Spectroscopic study of caesium discharges in a magnetic field’. Proc. Phys. Soc. B, 66 pp. 33-40, Jan. 1953.
3. ’Spectroscopic study of caesium discharges in a magnetic field’. Proc. Phys. Soc. B, 66 pp. 898-899, Oct 1953.
4. ’The Transistor’ CSIRO Radiophysics Laboratory (Sydney), 93 pp., Oct 1953 (with B. F. C. Cooper).
5. ’Some metallurgy and physics of germanium’. Trans. Aust. Inst. Metals 7 pp. 137-142, 1954. Also in Australasian Engineer pp. 66-71, April 1955)
6. ’Microwave and metre wave radiation from the positive column of a gas discharge’. Aust. J. Phys. 8 pp. 108-128, March 1955 (with E. Cowcher).
7. ’Semiconductor physics and the transistor’. Proc. IRE (Aust) 17 pp. 41-52, Feb. 1956.
8. ’Low-high conductivity junctions in semiconductors’. Proc. Phys. Soc. B, 70 pp. 885-889, March 1957.
9. ’The ultimate distribution of impurity in the zone-melting process’. Phil. Mag., 3 pp. 159-162, Feb. 1958.
10. ’The reduction of misalignment voltage in Hall measurements’. J. Sci. Instr., 35 p. 111, March 1958.
11. ’Semiconductor and transistors’. In ’Semiconductors and Microwave Techniques’ (Indian NPL and UNESCO S. Asia Co-operation Office) pp. 9-33, Aug. 1958
12. ’Metallic contacts to germanium and silicon’. J. Sci. Instr. 35 p. 423, Nov. 1958.
13. ’Determination of the limiting segregation of gallium in zone-refined germanium’. Trans. Metall. Soc, AIME, 212 pp. 799-801, Dec. 1958.
14. ’The efficiency of some zone-refining processes’. Trans Metall Soc AIME 215 pp. 672-675, Aug. 1959.
15. ’The efficiency of some zone-refining processes’. In H. C. Gates: ’Properties of Elemental and Compound Semiconductors’, pp. 11-16, 1960.
16. ’Recombination radiation from hot electrons in silicon’. Phys. Rev. Letters, 4 pp. 11-12, Jan. 1960.
17. ’Recombination radiation from silicon under strong field conditions’. Phys. Rev. 121 pp. 381-387, Jan. 1961 (with A. R. Storm).
18. ’Hot electrons in semiconductors and their applications’. Proc. IRE (Aust) 22 pp. 151-156, March 1961.
19. ’Semiconductor junctions as positional indicators of radiation’. Proc. IRE (Aust), 22 pp. 151-156 Aug. 1961.
20. ’Electron tunnelling in solids’. Proc. IRE (Aust) 23 pp. 127-132, March 1962.
21. ’Electron-hole scattering at high injection levels in germanium’. Nature 194, pp. 762-763, May 1962.
22. ’Variation with temperature of p-n junction characteristics’. Proc. IRE (Aust) 24, p. 368, April 1963.
23. ’Energy distribution of hot electrons in aluminium’. App. Phys Letters 2 pp. 213-215, June 1963 (with R. E. Collins).
24. ’The use of PIN structures in investigations of transient recombination from high injection levels in semiconductors’. Proc. IEEE 51 pp. 1637-1642, Nov. 1963.
25. ’Heat liberation in alloy-junction silicon diodes’. Nature 200 p. 1196, 21 Dec 1963.
26. ’The transport of hot electrons in Al-Al2O3-Al tunnel cathodes’. Solid State Electronics. 7 pp. 445-453, June 1964 (with R. E. Collins).
27. ’Solid-state diffusion effects in zone-refining and the use of a getter’. Solid State Electronics. 7 pp. 501-514, July 1964.
28. ’AWV Education Aids – Semiconductors’. Radiotronics, 30 pp. 42-46, March 1965 (with D. K. Money).
29. ’Semiconductors and Transistors’. Radiotronics, 30 pp. 86-95, May 1965 (with H. R. Wilshire).
30. ’Electron-hole scattering effects in semiconductor plasmas’. Proc. Symp. on Plasma Engineering. pp. 18-19, Sydney 25 Feb 1966.
31’. ’Thin film magnetoresistive devices’. Radio Research Board Symp. (The Physics of Thin Films) pp. 116-120, Adelaide 1966. Also in Proc. IREE (Aust), 28 pp. 118-120, April 1967.
32. ’Electron and hole mobilities in silicon at high injection levels’. IREE (Aust) Nat. Radio and Electronics Conv. Abstracts, pp. 36-37, 1967 (with M. S. Wells).
33. ’The physics of thin films’. Proc. IREE (Aust) 28 p. 97, April 1967.
34. ’Anodic oxide electrets’. Electronics Lett. 5 pp. 462-463, 18 Sept. 1969 (with R. E. Collins).
35. ’Integrated Hall current element’. Digest – Intl Conf. on Microelectronics, Circuits and Systems Theory. pp. 32-34, Sydney, Aug. 1970 (with G. P. Barnicoat).
36. ’Magneto transistor incorporated in a bipolar integrated circuit’. Digest – Intl Conf. on Microelectronics, Circuits and Systems Theory. pp. 34-35, Sydney, Aug. 1970 (with M. S. Wells).
37. ’Prospects for surface elastic wave crystal-controlled delay-line oscillators’. Proc. IREE (Aust) 32 pp. 61-62, Feb. 1971 (with M. W. Lawrence).
38. ’Some observations on microplasmas in PIN diodes’. Solid State Electronics 14 pp. 428-430, May 1971 (with V. Svoboda).
39. ’Guest Editorial’. Proc. IREE (Aust) 32 p. 191, June 1971 (with G. A. Rigby).
40. ’Magneto transistor incorporated in a bipolar integrated circuit’. Proc. IREE (Aust) 32 pp. 235-238, June 1971 (with M. S. Wells).
41. ’Electrets for microphone applications’. Tech Papers, IEAust Conf. Materials for the Electrical and Electronics Industries. p. 7, Perth, Aug. 1971 (with P. W. Chudleigh).
42. Chaps. 4, 15, 16, 17 in ’Information, Computers, Machines and Man’. Eds A. E. Karbowiak, R. M. Huey (Wiley & Sons) 1971.
43. ’Some frontiers of research in electronics in Australia’. Aust. Sci. Teachers Jnl 17 pp. 41-45, Dec. 1971.
44. ’Applied Physics – Physics and Engineering’. In ’The Application of Physics in Industry’. Eds J. S. Blakemore, C. J. Milner. Univ. of NSW 1972.
45. ’Integrated Hall current elements for high frequency field detection’. Proc. RRB Symp. On Microwave Components. Paper 10 p. 7, Adelaide, Feb 1972 (with R. Michael, S. Soegijoko).
46. ’PIN microwave diode switches’. Ibid. Paper 19 p. 14, Adelaide, Feb 1972 (with V. Svoboda, C. E. Brander).
47. ’Surface motion measurements on surface elastic waves’. App. Phys. Lett. 20 pp. 328-329, 15 April 1972 (with M. W. Lawrence).
48. ’Magnetically switched integrated SCR’. IEEE J. Solid State Circuits SC-8 pp. 175-180, April 1973 (with M. W. Neild).
49. ’Federal policy for industrial research and development in Australia’. Search 3 pp. 423-426, Dec. 1972.
50. ’Report of Committee appointed by Council to report on solar energy research in Australia’. Aust. Acad. Science. Sept 1973 (with C. N. Watson-Munro et al.).
51. ’Direct conversion of solar energy to electricity’. Proc. ISES Symp. ’Realistic Prospects for Solar Power in Australia’. p. 4, Melbourne, Nov. 1973.
52. ’Prospects for the direct conversion of solar energy to electricity’. AWA Tech. Review, 15 pp. 139-142, 1973.
53. ’Review of solar energy utilisation in Australia’. Proc. ISES Tech Meeting, Brighton, UK, 9 July 1974.
54. ’Recent developments in photovoltaic devices for solar energy conversion’. ISES Symp. ’Physics of Solar Energy Utilisation’. pp. 27-31, Sydney, 8 Nov. 1974.
55. ’The analysis of conical reflectors as concentrators for solar energy in photovoltaic and thermoelectric applications’. Ibid. pp. 32-38 (with P. E. Botrell).
56. ’Direct solar production of electricity’. In ’Solar Energy’. Eds H. Messel, S. T. Butler. pp. 275-292, Sydney, 1974.
57. ’Science in fact-finding’. Aust. J. Forensic Sciences. 8 (4) pp. 152-155, 1976.
58. ’Large open-circuit photo-voltages in silicon minority carrier MIS solar cells’. Proc. 12th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conf. pp. 896-899, Baton Rouge, 1976 (with M. A. Green, R. B. Godfrey).
59. ’Failsafe requirements of rad traffic signal equipment’. Proc. Aust Roads Res. Board, 8 pp. 27-35, 1976 (with H. S. Blanks, F. R. Hulscher, J. W. Syme).
60. ’Failsafe requirements of road traffic signal equipment’. Proc. 9th ARRB Conf. pp. 21-25, 1978 (with F. R. Hulscher, J. W. Syme).
61. ’Technology transfer in the electronics industry’. AWA Tech. Review 16 (3) 1977.
62. ’Short wavelength response of single and polycrystalline MIS solar cells’. Proc. 13th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conf., Washington, 1978 (with M. A. Green, R. B. Godfrey).
63. ’Science and technology transfer to Australia: Benefits, costs and problems’. Aust Acad. Sci. Symp. ’Science and Technology for what purpose?’ pp. 273-279, Canberra 1979.
64. ’The Control of Research’, AVCC Conf. Of Governing Bodies – University-Government Relations. No. 14 pp. 1-11, 1982.

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  • Postings

    Research Officer

    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation


    Amalgamated Wireless Australasia

    Emeritus Professor

    University of New South Wales, Australia