- Professor and Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering
For More Information
- Ph.D. Physics, Cornell University, 1989
- B.S. Engineering Physics, Ohio State University, 1984
- co-Director IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute, University of Illinois - (2021-present)
- Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering, University of Illinois - (2020-present)
- Head of Department - Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois - (2010-2018)
- Willett Professor of Engineering. College of Engineering, University of Illinois - (2005-2020)
- Professor - Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois - (2002-present)
- Associate Professor - Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois - (1997-2002)
- Assistant Professor - Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois - (1991-1997)
Other Professional Employment
- Postdoctoral Research Associate, IBM Watson Research Center (1989-91)
- David Cahill is the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and co-Director of the IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at 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. He served as department head from 2010 to 2018. His research program advances physical insights on thermal transport at the nanoscale; extremes of low and high thermal conductivity; the thermal conductivity of soft matter; the thermal science of magnetic materials; and the transport of heat and mass in battery materials. Cahill received the 2018 Innovation in Materials Characterization Award of the Materials Research Society, the 2015 Touloukian Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the 2023 Klemens Award from the International Conference on Phonon Scattering in Condensed Matter; and is a fellow of the MRS, the American Physical Society, the AAAS, and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2023.
Thermal management is a critical issue in a wide variety of applications of thin films materials from state-of-the-art microprocessors to turbine engines. Heat can be carried by any excitation of the solid that is thermally excited: lattice vibrations, electrons, spin-waves. The lifetime or coherence of these excitations have a complex dependence the microstructure of materials; at nanometer length scales, the transfer of heat between various excitations at interfaces becomes the controlling factor. Our group studies the basic science of thermal transport in materials with a particular emphasis on the exchange of thermal energy at solid-solid and solid-liquid interfaces. We have recently developed new and powerful methods of characterizing nanoscale thermal transport using ultrafast laser metrology of precisely controlled thin film multilayers and suspensions of metallic nanoparticles. We are currently working to extend our experimental methods to higher resolution in time, space, and energy.
- nanoscale thermal transport, GHz frequency acoustics, magnetic materials, heat and mass transport in soft materials, ultrafast magneto-optics, materials property microscopy
- Electronic Materials
Selected Articles in Journals
- Jinchi Sun, Guangxin Lv, and David G. Cahill, “Frequency-domain probe beam deﬂection method for measurement of thermal conductivity of materials on micron length scale,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 94, 014903 (2023).
- Guangxin Lv, Chengtian Shen, Naisong Shan, Elynn Jensen, Xiaoru Li, Christopher M. Evans, and David G. Cahill, “Odd-even eﬀect on the thermal conductivity of liquid crystalline epoxy resins,” PNAS 119, e2211151119 (2022).
- Xiaoyang Ji, Satoshi Matsuo, Nancy R. Sottos, and David G. Cahill, “Anisotropic thermal and electrical conductivities of individual polyacrylonitrile-based carbon ﬁbers,” Carbon 197, 1–9 (2022).
- Shi En Kim, Fauzia Mujid, Akash Rai, Fredrik Eriksson, Joonki Suh, Preeti Poddar, Ariana Ray, Chibeom Park, Erik Fransson, Yu Zhong, David A. Muller, Paul Erhart, David G. Cahill, and Jiwoong Park, "Extremely anisotropic van der Waals thermal conductors," Nature 597, 660–665 (2021).
- Guangxin Lv, Elynn Jensen, Christopher M. Evans, and David G. Cahill, "High thermal con- ductivity semicrystalline epoxy resins with anthraquinone-based hardeners," ACS Appl. Poly. Mat. 3, 4430–4435 (2021).
- Zhe Cheng, Beniamin Zahiri, Xiaoyang Ji, Chen Chen, Darshan Chalise, Paul V. Braun, and David G. Cahill, "Good solid-state electrolytes have low glass-like thermal conductivity," Small 17, 2101693 (2021).
- Junyi Wu, Manohar H. Karigerasi, Daniel P. Shoemaker, Virginia O. Lorenz, and David G. Cahill, "Temperature dependence of the anisotropic magnetoresistance of the metallic antiferro- magnet Fe2As," Phys. Rev. Appl. 15, 054038 (2021).
- Guangxin Lv, Elynn Jensen, Maisong Shan, Christopher M. Evans, and David G. Cahill, "Effect of aromatic/aliphatic structure and cross-linking on the thermal conductivity of epoxy resins," ACS Appl. Polymer Mat. 3, 1555–1562 (2021).
- Kexin Yang, Kisung Kang, Zhu Diao, Manohar H. Karigerasi, Daniel P. Shoemaker, Andre Schleife, and David G. Cahill, "Magnetocrystalline anisotropy of the easy-plane metallic antiferromagnet Fe2As," Phys. Rev. Mat. 102, 064415 (2020).
- Hyejin Jang, Johannes Kimling, and David G. Cahill, "Non-equilibrium heat transport in Pt and Ru probed by an ultrathin Co thermometer," Phys. Rev. B 101, 064304 (2020).
- Qiye Zheng, Chunhua Li, Akash Rai, Jacob H. Leach, David A. Broido, David G. Cahill, "Thermal conductivity of GaN, 71GaN and SiC from 150 K to 850 K," Phys. Rev. Mat. 3, 014601 (2019).
- Qiye Zheng, Gaohua Zhu, Zhu Diao, Debasish Banerjee, and David G. Cahill, "High contrast thermal conductivity change in Ni-Mn-In Heusler alloys near room-temperature," Advanced Engineering Materials 21, 1801342 (2019).
- Jungwoo Shin, Jaeuk Sung, Minjee Kang, Xu Xie, Byeongdu Lee, Kyungmin Lee, Timothy White, Cecilia Leal, Nancy R. Sottos, Paul V. Braun and David G. Cahill, “Light-triggered thermal conductivity switching in azobenzene polymers,” PNAS 116, 5973-5978 (2019).
- Sheng Li, Qiye Zheng, Yinchuan Lv, Xiaoyuan Liu, Xiqu Wang, Pinshane Huang, David G. Cahill and Bing Lv, “Ultrahigh thermal conductivity in cubic boron arsenide crystals,” Science 361, 579-581 (2018).
- Paul G. Klemens Award, International Conference on Phonon Scattering in Condensed Matter (2023)
- Elected member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Technology Section (2023)
- Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2020-present)
- Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2020)
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section on Engineering (2020)
- Innovation in Materials Characterization Award, Materials Research Society (2018)
- Yeram S. Touloukian Award, ASME (2015)
- Fellow of the Materials Research Society (2012)
- Donald Bigger Willett Professor of Engineering, University of Illinois, College of Engineering (2005-2020)
- Fellow of the American Physical Society (2005)
- University Scholar, University of Illinois (2000-2003)
- Peter Mark Memorial Award, AVS (1998)
Recent Courses Taught
- MSE 201 - Phases and Phase Relations
- MSE 396 - Introduction to Research
- MSE 401 - Thermodynamics of Materials
- MSE 404 QM1 (MSE 404 QM2, MSE 404 QM3, MSE 404 QS1, MSE 404 QS2, MSE 404 QS3) - Quantum States