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Advanced Materials Innovation: Managing Global Technology in the 21st century

ISBN: 978-0-470-50892-3
496 pages
September 2016
Advanced Materials Innovation: Managing Global Technology in the 21st century (0470508922) cover image

Description

Through detailed case studies of the most important advanced material creations of the latter 20th and early 21st century, the author explores the role of the field of advanced materials in the technological and economic activity today, with implications to the innovation process in general.

  • A comprehensive study that encompasses the three major categories of advanced material technologies, i.e., Structural Materials (metals and polymers), Functional Materials (transistor, microchip and semiconductor laser) and Hybrid and New Forms of Matter (liquid crystals and nanomaterials).
  • Extensive use of primary sources, including unpublished interviews with the scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs on the front lines of advanced materials creation
  • Original approach to case study narrative, emphasizing interaction between the advanced material process, perceived risk and directing and accelerating breakthrough technology
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Table of Contents

PREFACE xvii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xxvii

PART I INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1

1 Advanced Materials Innovation: An Overview 3

1.1 The Advanced Materials Revolution, 3

1.2 The Economic Impact of Advanced Materials, 6

1.2.1 Information and Computer Technology, 8

1.2.2 Energy, 9

1.2.3 Biotechnology and Health Care, 10

1.2.4 Transportation, 11

1.2.5 Construction, Infrastructure, and Manufacturing, 12

1.3 Advanced Material Innovation: The Main Players, 13

References, 15

PART II STRUCTURAL MATERIALS: METALS AND POLYMERS 17

2 Advanced Casting Technology: Ultrathin Steel and the Microalloys 19

2.1 Introduction, 19

2.2 Background, 20

2.2.1 Thick Slab Casting and “Big Steel”, 20

2.2.2 The Mini- and Micromill Revolution: Thin Slab and Thin Strip Casting, 21

2.2.3 Ultrathin Steel and Microalloys, 22

2.3 Nucor Steel: Ground Zero for the Mini (and Micro-)-Mill Revolution, 23

2.3.1 Nucor’s Flexible Structure, 24

2.3.2 Ken Iverson and Nucor, 24

2.3.3 Nucor Builds a Steel Minimill, 25

2.4 Thin Slab and Thin Strip Casting: Research and Development, 27

2.4.1 Thin Slab Casting, 27

2.4.2 Thin Strip Casting, 28

2.5 Thin Slab and Thin Strip Casting: Scale-Up, 30

2.5.1 The Challenges of Scaling, 30

2.5.2 Nucor and Reducing the Risks of Scaling, 31

2.5.2.1 Structural Risks, 31

2.5.2.2 Resource Risks: Capital, Raw Materials, and Labor, 32

2.5.2.3 Experiential Risks, 34

2.6 Thin Slab and Thin Strip Casting: Commercialization, 34

2.6.1 Commercializing the Thin Slab Process: Nucor’s “Internalized Static” Culture and Technology Selection, 35

2.6.2 Commercializing the Thin Strip Process: Nucor Creates a Dynamic Expansionist Culture, 36

References, 38

3 High-Pressure Technology and Dupont’s Synthetic Fiber Revolution 41

3.1 Background: The High-Pressure Process and Advanced Materials, 42

3.1.1 The Nature of High-Pressure Synthesis, 42

3.1.2 DuPont: High-Pressure Synthesis and Its Road to Advanced Fibers, 44

3.1.2.1 DuPont’s Diversification Strategy, 44

3.1.2.2 DuPont Enters Upon—and Struggles with—High-Pressure Synthesis, 45

3.1.2.3 Roger Williams and the First-Generation High-Pressure Chemicals, 47

3.2 Dupont’s Nylon Revolution, 48

3.2.1 Charles Stine and DuPont’s Central Research Department, 49

3.2.2 Stine Finds His Star Scientist: Wallace Carothers, 51

3.2.3 Carothers and Nylon, 53

3.2.3.1 Nylon: Research Phase, 53

3.2.3.2 Nylon: Development, Scale-Up, and Commercialization, 56

3.3 Nylon’s Children: Orlon and Dacron, 60

3.3.1 Orlon, 61

3.3.1.1 Orlon: Research Phase, 61

3.3.1.2 Orlon: Development Phase, 63

3.3.1.3 Orlon: Scale-Up and Commercialization, 64

3.3.2 Dacron, 65

3.3.2.1 Dacron: Research Phase, 65

3.3.2.2 Dacron: Development, 66

3.3.2.3 Dacron: Scale-Up and Commercialization, 67

References, 68

4 Low-Temperature (Interfacial) Polymerization: DuPont’s Specialty Fibers Versus General Electric’s Polycarbonate Revolution 71

4.1 Introduction and Background, 72

4.2 Dupont and Specialty Fibers, 74

4.2.1 Lycra Spandex and the Block Copolymers, 75

4.2.2 Kevlar and the Aramids, 77

4.3 General Electric and the Polycarbonates, 80

4.3.1 The Polycarbonates: Research Phase, 80

4.3.2 The Polycarbonates: Development and Scale-Up, 82

4.3.3 The Polycarbonates: Commercialization Phase—GE Research Shifts from an Internally Directed to Externally Oriented Culture, 85

4.3.3.1 The Patent Issue, 86

4.3.3.2 The Customer Issue, 87

References, 88

5 Fluidization I: From Advanced Fuels to the Polysilicones 91

5.1 Background: Fluidization and Advanced Fuels, 91

5.1.1 Sun Oil and the Houdry Process, 92

5.1.2 Jersey Standard and the Fluidization Process, 94

5.2 General Electric and the Polysilicones, 100

5.2.1 The Silicones: Initiation Phase, 100

5.2.2 The Silicones: Research Phase, 101

5.2.2.1 Early Research, 101

5.2.2.2 Later Research, 102

5.2.3 The Silicones: Development Phase, 103

5.2.3.1 Early Development, 103

5.2.3.2 Later Development, 105

5.2.4 The Silicones: Commercialization Phase, 107

5.2.4.1 Patents, 108

5.2.4.2 Internal Use Versus External Customers, 108

References, 112

6 Fluidization II: Polyethylene, the Unipol Process, and the Metallocenes 115

6.1 Background: Polyethylene and the Dupont Problem, 116

6.1.1 DuPont and the Polychemicals Department, 116

6.1.2 DuPont and Delrin Plastic, 117

6.1.3 DuPont and Polyethylene, 118

6.1.3.1 European Developments, 118

6.1.3.2 DuPont and the “One Polyethylene” Strategy, 120

6.1.3.3 DuPont and the High-Density Polyethylene Problem, 121

6.1.3.4 DuPont and Fluidization, 122

6.2 Union Carbide and the Polyolefins: The Unipol Process, 122

6.2.1 Union Carbide and Polyethylene: Background, 123

6.2.2 The Unipol Process: Initiation Phase, 125

6.2.3 The Unipol Process: Research Phase, 127

6.2.3.1 The Unipol Process: Development and Scale-Up Phases, 129

6.2.4 The Unipol Process: Commercialization Phase, 133

6.3 The Unipol Revolution and the Metallocene Polymers, 137

6.3.1 Science and Technology of the Metallocenes, 137

6.3.2 The Metallocene Era and Advanced Materials, 138

References, 139

PART III FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS: SEMICONDUCTORS 143

7 Advanced Materials and the Integrated Circuit I: The Metal-on-Silicon (MOS) Process 145

7.1 Background, 146

7.1.1 The Vacuum Tube and Advanced Materials, 146

7.2 Bell Labs and the Point-Contact Transistor, 148

7.2.1 Bell Labs: The Early Years, 148

7.2.2 Bell Semiconductor Research: The Leading Players, 150

7.2.3 The Point-Contact Transistor, 152

7.3 Shockley Semiconductor and the Junction Transistor, 156

7.3.1 The Junction (Bipolar) Transistor, 156

7.3.2 The Creation and Fall of Shockley Semiconductor, 159

7.4 Fairchild Semiconductor: The Bipolar Company, 160

7.4.1 The Silicon Transistor, 160

7.4.2 The Planar Process, 162

7.4.3 The Integrated Circuit, 163

7.5 The MOS Technology at Bell and Fairchild, 165

7.5.1 MOS Research at Bell Labs, 165

7.5.2 MOS Research and Development at Fairchild, 168

7.5.2.1 The Fairchild MOS Project: Initiation, Research, and Early Development, 168

7.5.2.2 Development and Early Attempts at Scale-Up: Risk Analysis, 169

References, 176

8 Advanced Materials and the Integrated Circuit II: The Silicon Gate Process—The Memory Chip and the Microprocessor 179

8.1 Background: Creating Intel, 180

8.2 The MOS-SG Process: Research and Early Development, 182

8.3 The MOS-SG Process: Development Phase—Perfecting the Process, 182

8.4 The MOS-SG Process: Product Development, 185

8.4.1 MOS-SG and Memory I: The “DRAM”, 185

8.4.2 MOS-SG and Memory II: The “EPROM”, 187

8.4.3 MOS-SG and the Microprocessor, 189

8.4.3.1 Ted Hoff, Circuit Design, and Inventing the Microprocessor, 189

8.4.3.2 Federico Faggin, the MOS-SG Process, and Making the Microprocessor, 190

8.4.3.3 The Competitive Advantage of Intel’s Microprocessor, 191

8.4.3.4 Championing the Microprocessor at Intel, 192

8.5 MOS-SG: Scale-Up and Commercialization, 194

8.5.1 Competition and Resource Allocation, 196

8.5.2 The MOS-SG Process, Moore’s Law, and Intel’s “Internalized Short-Term Dynamic” Culture, 197

References, 200

9 The Epitaxial Process I: Bell Labs and the Semiconductor Laser 203

9.1 Background: Advanced Materials, the Epitaxial Process, and Nonsilicon-based Microchips, 204

9.2 Bell Labs and the Semiconductor Laser, 206

9.2.1 The First Lasers, 207

9.2.2 Early Research on the Semiconductor Laser in the United States, 210

9.2.3 Bell’s Semiconductor Laser: Initiation and Research, 211

9.2.4 Bell’s Semiconductor Laser: Development, 212

9.2.4.1 Toward a Working Prototype, 213

9.2.4.2 Resource Problems and Creative Bootstrapping, 214

9.2.4.3 Development of the Semiconductor Laser Gains Importance at AT&T/Bell Labs, 215

9.2.4.4 The Million-Hour Laser, 217

9.2.5 Bell’s Semiconductor Laser: Scale-Up and Commercialization, 218

9.2.5.1 The Semiconductor Laser Advances to Higher Wavelengths, 218

9.2.5.2 Bell Faces Competition, 220

References, 221

10 The Epitaxial Process II: IBM and the Silicon–Germanium (SiGe) Chip 223

10.1 IBM and its research, 224

10.2 IBM and the Silicon–Germanium Chip, 226

10.2.1 The Silicon–Germanium Chip: Initiation and Research Phases, 226

10.2.1.1 A Question of Temperature, 228

10.2.1.2 A Question of Layering: Molecular Beams Versus Chemical Vapor Deposition, 229

10.2.1.3 The Germanium Solution, 230

10.2.2 The Silicon–Germanium Chip: Development Phase, 231

10.2.2.1 Internal Competition, 231

10.2.2.2 Grappling with a Shifting Context and Shrinking Resources, 233

10.2.2.3 Dealing with a Dynamic Market, 235

10.2.3 The Silicon–Germanium Chip: Scale-Up and Commercialization, 235

10.2.3.1 Integrating the Silicon–Germanium Chip into IBM’s Production Process, 235

10.2.3.2 Finding New Markets, 236

10.2.3.3 Creating New Strategies, 237

References, 239

PART IV HYBRID MATERIALS AND NEW FORMS OF MATTER: LIQUID CRYSTALS AND NANOMATERIALS 243

11 Product-Oriented Materials I: Liquid Crystals and Small LC Displays—the Electronic Calculator and the Digital Watch 245

11.1 Background, 246

11.2 RCA and Liquid Crystal Research, 248

11.2.1 The Liquid Crystal Display: Initiation and Research at RCA, 248

11.2.1.1 Richard Williams and His Liquid Crystal “Domains”, 248

11.2.1.2 George Heilmeier and His Two Modes of Liquid Crystal Action, 249

11.2.1.3 The Search for Room-Temperature Liquid Crystals, 251

11.2.1.4 The First Experimental Displays, 252

11.2.2 The Liquid Crystal Display: (Attempts at) Development at RCA, 252

11.2.2.1 Weakening Influence of the Sarnoff Labs, 252

11.2.2.2 Search for a Business Unit, 253

11.2.2.3 Loss of the Champion, 255

11.3 Small LCD Development, Scale-up, and Commercialization I: US Start-ups Spin-off, 255

11.4 Europe and Liquid Crystals, 259

11.5 Small LCD Development, Scale-up, and Commercialization II: Japan, 260

11.5.1 The Sharp Corporation and the LCD Pocket Calculator, 261

11.5.2 The Seiko Corporation and the Digital Watch, 265

References, 268

12 Product-oriented Materials II: Liquid Crystals, Thin-Film Transistors, and Large LC Displays—Flat-screen Televisions and Personal Computers 271

12.1 Background, 272

12.2 TFTs: Initiation, Research, and Early Development, 273

12.2.1 The United States: Westinghouse and TFTs, 273

12.2.2 Europe: New Forms of Silicon and TFTs, 276

12.3 Large LCDs: Development, Scale-up, and Commercialization, 276

12.3.1 Large LC Display Start-Up and Spin-Off Ventures in the United States, 277

12.3.2 Japan Enters into Large LC Displays, 278

12.3.2.1 Flat-Panel (Hang-on-the-Wall) TVs, 278

12.3.2.2 Computer Displays: Joint US–Japanese Cooperation, 281

References, 284

13 Nanomaterials: The Promise and the Challenge 287

13.1 Background, 287

13.1.1 Nanomaterials, 288

13.1.2 Nanotubes, 289

13.2 Nanotubes: Discovery and Early Research, 291

13.2.1 Early Research, 291

13.2.1.1 A Question of Space Dust, 291

13.2.1.2 Richard Smalley, Clusters, and the “AP2” Machine, 293

13.2.1.3 Chance Discovery of a New Form of Matter: C60 and the “Buckyball”, 295

13.3 Nanotubes: Later Research and Early Development, 298

13.3.1 A Small Buckyball “Factory” in Germany, 299

13.3.2 Smalley Reenters the Fray: An Entrepreneurial Vision, 300

13.3.3 The Laser Oven Stopgap, 302

13.3.4 The “HiPco” Solution: Fluidization and Nanomaterials, 303

13.4 Nanotubes: Later Development and Scale-up, 303

13.4.1 Technology Transfer: From Rice University to Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc., 303

13.4.1.1 CNI and Its Pilot Plant, 304

13.4.1.2 SWNTs and Their Problems, 305

13.5 Nanotubes—commercialization: The Case of Bayer Materials Science, 308

References, 311

PART V CONCLUSION 315

14 Risks, Champions, and Advanced Materials Innovation 317

14.1 The Major Task Milestones in Advanced Materials Creation, 318

14.2 “Underground” Versus “Aboveground” Advanced Materials Innovation, 320

14.2.1 Underground Versus Aboveground Innovation, Strategic Context, and the Major Task Milestones, 321

14.2.2 Underground Versus Aboveground Innovation: Firm and Project Characteristics, 325

14.3 Underground Advanced Materials Creation: General Electric and Union Carbide, 327

14.4 Aboveground Advanced Materials Creation and the “Gauntlet of Risks”, 330

14.4.1 Phase I: Initiation—“Relevancy” Risks, 337

14.4.2 Phase II: Early Research—Intellectual Risks, 347

14.4.3 Phase III: Late Research—Resource Minimization Risks, 363

14.4.4 Phase IV: Early Development—Prototyping Risks, 364

14.4.5 Phase V: Late Development—Technology–Market Interaction Risks, 371

14.4.6 Phase VI: Scale-Up Phase—Scaling Risks, 389

14.4.7 Phase VII: Commercialization Phase—“Cultural-Strategic” Risks, 390

14.5 The Structural Context and Advanced Materials Innovation, 419

14.6 Inventors and Champions, 422

14.6.1 Inventors, Champions, and the Gauntlet of Risks, 423

14.7 The Different Types of Advanced Materials Champions, 433

14.8 Final Thoughts and Implications, 438

14.8.1 Implications for Companies and Investors, 441

14.8.2 Implications for Government, 443

14.8.3 A Global Perspective, 444

References, 446

INDEX 449

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Author Information

Dr. Sanford L. Moskowitz is Associate Professor of Global Business at St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict (Collegeville, MN). Dr. Moskowitz specializes in the evolution of advanced global technologies and their markets. He is a consultant to global business in the area of innovation and technological development and has delivered key-note presentations on advanced materials and related technologies at academic and professional conferences within the US and internationally. His views on the future of advanced material development have appeared in such publications as The Economist and Wired Magazine. Dr. Moskowitz is the author of The Advanced Materials Revolution: Technology and Economic Growth in the Age of Globalization (2009, John Wiley & Sons). Dr. Moskowitz holds a B.S. in physics from the City College of New York (CCNY) and an M.S., M. Phil. and Ph.D. in economic and business history from Columbia University (New York, N.Y.).

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