UC Professor Marc Cahay Named APS Fellow

By: Ashley Duvelius

College of Engineering and Applied Science professor, Marc Cahay, PhD, is elected to Fellowship in the American Physical Society.


Marc Cahay, PhD and professor at the School of Electronics and Computing Systems, is receiving the ultimate recognition from his peers for his twenty eight years of outstanding contributions to the worlds of physics, nanoscience and nanotechnology. Cahay has been a member of the American Physical Society (APS) since 1986, and is elected to a Fellowship.

APS has different sections and Cahay was elected Fellow by the Forum on Industrial & Applied Physics whose main objective is to enhance society's ability to meet the needs of the industrial and applied physics community, and to help society take advantage of the evolving opportunities in the practice and application of physics.

Only 0.5% of APS members reach the status of Fellow. As the largest association of American physicists, typically only members with pioneering contributions in their field get elected. APS states, Cahay has been elected for “his seminal contributions to the understanding of transport properties of mesoscopic systems and for pioneering work in spintronic devices.”

Cahay’s numerous such contributions include but are not limited to: authoring a landmark paper titled “Importance of Space-Charge Effects in Resonant Tunneling Devices,” which has been cited 120 times, and laid the foundation for a well-known software package SEQUAL (Semiconductor Electrostatics by QUantum-mechanical AnaLysis) used by universities and industries worldwide; developing the  scattering matrix approach to model diffusive charge transport in semiconductor  nanostructures, a technique that is now used by researchers worldwide; pioneering a hybrid theoretical and experimental program for the use of rare-earth monosulfides to realize cold cathodes (electrodes) with low and even negative electron affinity; and co-authoring the only textbook in spintronics, titled “Introduction on Spintronics,” that has sold some 1,000 copies worldwide.

Cahay has chaired several sessions at the annual American Physical Society meeting which is held in March. This year’s meeting will be in Baltimore, MA. At this meeting, Cahay will receive the certificate for his recently awarded elevation to the status of Fellow.

Having earned his bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Liege in Belgium (’81), Cahay then travelled to the US. Here, he attended Purdue University, where he achieved his master’s degree in physics (’86) and his PhD in electrical engineering (’87). Cahay joined UC’s CEAS School of Electronics and Computing Systems faculty in September 1989. Additionally, he recently received a joint position in the physics department.

Cahay has also made quite an impact at UC, earning awards such as the Sigma Xi Young Investigator Research Award (’95), Etta Kappa Nu Outstanding Professor of the Year (’02-’03), College of Engineering (COE) Distinguished Researcher Award (’08),  Department of Electrical and Computer Enginnering W.H. Middendorf Research Excellence Award (’91, ’05, ’11),  Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering W.E. Restemeyer Teaching Excellence Award (2004). COE Master Engineering Educator Award (’12),  COE Neil Wandmacher Award (’12), and the Distinguished Teaching Professor Award (’12). Cahay is also a Fellow of IEEE and the Electrochemical Society.

“This Fellowship, to me, signifies the ultimate recognition by my peers. I am deeply honored to reach the status of Fellow as it increases one’s visibility among their peers and is also a great asset when applying for grants,” reflects Cahay.

Looking to the future, Cahay plans to take a sabbatical in spring 2014 to enter a new field of research in spintronics which involves the study of spin blockade. This will involve both a theoretical program and experimental research in physics. He also intends to perform some modeling and experimental investigation into the emission of carbon fibers and carpets with his colleagues at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and CEAS Professor Schulz, PhD, and Professor Shanov, PhD, at the University of Cincinnati. Cahay plans to write a second edition to the “Introduction to Spintronics,” and start writing another book on “Practical Problems in Quantum Mechanics” with Professor S. Bandyopadhyay, PhD, from Virginia Commonwealth University and Professor J.P. Leburton, PhD, from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The American Physical Society (http://www.aps.org) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States.

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