Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Seminar

November 14, 2017
November 14, 2017
Speaker: David G. Cahill, Ph.D.
                 Donald B. Willett Professor of Engineering and
                 Department Chair, Materials Science and
                 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
Title: Ultrafast Heat Transfer in Nanoscale Materials
Time: 12:00 noon
Abstract: On the macroscopic lengths scales of conventional engineering systems, heat transfer by conduction is generally a slow process well-described by the heat diffusion equation.  The characteristic time-scale of diffusion scales with the square of length; therefore, at nanometer length scales, heat conduction can involve processes that occur on time-scales of picoseconds, i.e., a few trillionth of a second.  We use ultrafast pump-probe optical techniques to directly study a variety of unconventional heat transfer mechanisms that are critical in nanoscale devices and nanoscale materials.  Our studies encompass a diverse variety of systems (metallic nanoparticles for photothermal medical therapies, phase change materials for solid-state memory, and heat-assisted magnetic recording) and  physical mechanisms (the thermal conductance of interfaces between dissimilar materials, the non-equilibrium between thermal excitations of electrons, phonons, and magnons, and the cross-terms in the transport of heat, charge, and spin).  In this talk I will highlight three recent examples: i) ultrafast thermal transport in the surroundings of plasmonic nanostructures; ii) limitations on ultrafast heating of metallic multilayers imposed by electron-phonon coupling; and iii) the generation of currents of magnetization by the spin-dependent Seebeck effect and extreme heat fluxes exceeding 100 GW m-2.
Bio: David Cahill is the Willett Professor and Department Head of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the faculty of the U. Illinois after earning his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Cornell University, and working as a postdoctoral research associate at the IBM Watson Research Center. His research program focuses on developing a microscopic understanding of thermal transport at the nanoscale; the discovery of materials with enhanced thermal function; the interactions between phonons, electrons, photons, and spin; and advancing fundamental understanding of interfaces between materials and water. He received the 2015 Touloukian Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Peter Mark Memorial Award from the American Vacuum Society (AVS); is a fellow of the AVS, American Physical Society (APS) and Materials Research Society (MRS); and a past-chair of the Division of Materials Physics of the APS.
Hosted by: Professor Richard Lehman
For additional information, please contact Sheela Sekhar at or 848-445-2159.