Chihtang (Chih-Tang) Sah

Chihtang (Chih-Tang) Sah

Professor, Department of Physics

Xiamen University


Chihtang (Tom) Sah is a member of the distinguished Sah Family in Fuzhou, the provincial capital city of Fujian Province, China. His late father Pen-Tung Sah was a Professor of Physics of Tsinghua University in Beijing China (1930-1937), the first president of the nationalized Xiamen University (1937-1944) and an Academician and the Secretary General (1945-1949) of the Academia Sinica in China. Chihtang Sah had a younger brother, the late Chih-Han Sah, who was a mathematics professor at the State University of New York in Stony Brook. His late mother, Shu-Shen Huang, was the three-record holder in track and fields on the 1930 Chinese Olympian Team, who later taught mathematics for fifteen year at and retired from the Slippery Rock State University near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Chihtang Sah received two B.S. degrees in 1953 in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 1954 and 1956. His doctoral thesis research was on traveling-wave tubes under the tutelage of Karl R. Spangenberg, the international authority on vacuum tubes.

His industrial career in solid-state electronics began with William Shockley in 1956 and continued at Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in Palo Alto from 1959 to 1964 until he became a professor of physics and electrical engineering at the University of Illinois for 25 years (1962–1988). Under the management of Gordon E. Moore, Victor H. Grinich and Robert N. Noyce at Fairchild, Sah helped hire and direct a 64-member Fairchild Physics and technology team on the development of the first generation manufacturing technologies for volume production of silicon bipolar and MOS transistors and integrated circuit, which included oxide masking against impurity diffusion, sodium-free stable gate oxide for Si MOS transistors, the CMOS circuit, origin and reduction of the low-frequency noise, thin film integrated resistance and Si epitaxy thin film for bipolar integrated circuit production, and the MOS transistor model used by the transistor-circuit simulators

He was the founding editor (1991) of the International Series on the Advances in Solid State Electronics and Technology (ASSET) with the World Scientific Publishing Company of Singapore, which has been publishing by invited authors, currently (2014) the eight monograph. The series has covered compact modelling of devices for computer aided design of integrated circuits, integrated circuit invention history, and manufacturing technology of the embedded non-volatile MOS memory. His recent research was on MOS transistor models since he was drafted in October 2004 by his young colleagues to join them, after 40 years of absence subsequent to the 1964-Sah, 1965-Sah-Pao and 1966-Pao-Sah journal articles on MOS transistor models, using the surface potential approach, in order to help further the development of compact models for computer aided design of nanometer MOS integrated circuits. His current study, since August, 2013, is on the Physics of Water and the model of pure and impure water, in collaboration with Professor Bin Bin Jie, which is presented at this 10th Workshop on Compact Modeling. For contributions in transistor physics and technology, Chihtang Sah received the IRE Browder H. Thomson best paper Prize for an author under 30 (1962), the IEEE J. J. Ebers Award in Electron Devices (1981) and the IEEE Jack Morton Award in Electron Devices (1989), the Franklin Institute Certificate of Merit, the First Achievement Award in High Technology from the Asian-American Manufacturer Association in San Jose, CA (1984) (co-recipient with Morris Chang of TSMC), the Fourth Annual University Research Award of the Semiconductor Industry Association (1998), the co-recipient (in integrated circuit technology) with Professor Yung Cheng Fung (in bioengineering of UCSD) of the first Pioneer Recognition Award of the Committee-of-100 (C-100, a Chinese-American Citizen Advocacy organization), the second annual Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award of the Asian-American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) sponsored by the Chinese Institute of Engineering/USA (2003) and the Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Leuven, Belgium (1975), the Honorary Doctorate from Taiwan Chaotung University (2004), China’s National Honorary Doctorate (2010), and the third IEEE Electron Device Society Celebrated Member (2012).

Chihtang Sah was listed in a survey by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the world's 1000 most cited scientists during 1963-1978. He is a Life Fellow of the American Physical Society, the IEEE and the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (1986), the Academia Sinica in Taipei (1998) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing (2000). He was appointed an Honorary Professor of Peking University (2002), Tsinghua University (2003), and Xiamen University (2004) of China. He has been a full-time Professor of Physics of Xiamen University, in Xiamen, Fujian, China, since April 2010, where he and Professor Bin Jie have developed and taught a two-semester 120-lecture-hour junior physics course on semiconductor materials and devices and a graduate course on advanced semiconductor physics, using his 3-volume (1991, 1993, 1996) textbook on the Fundamentals of Solid-State Electronics, published by the World Scientific Publishing Company.

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