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Davide Hill

Davide Hill

Contact Info

Email: hill.1@nd.edu
Phone: 574-631-8487
Office: 173 Fitzpatrick Hall

Affiliations

College of Engineering Associate Professor

Summary of Activities/Interests

Professor Hill's research focuses on the physics of polymers and liquid crystals, with emphasis on microstructure and rheology. The study of elasticity-induced, particle-particle interactions in liquid crystalline media, offers fertile grounds for new discoveries on fundamental and technological importance. Successful utilization of newly-synthesized liquid crystal polymers (LCPs) hinges on careful control of molecular orientation within the material. Molecular orientation at solid boundaries can be influenced by particular surface treatments.

For instance, the presence of grooves on a surface will induce alignment of the molecules parallel to them. The alignment nucleates at the surface but is not confined to it, for it propagates toward the bulk of the liquid driven by elastic torques. Surface anchoring can influence the orientation field deep into the bulk of the liquid. Compounding LCPs with small particles with favorable surface topography is an effective and economical way of controlling the microstructure. Current efforts focus on understanding the effects of particle size, shape, surface morphology, and concentration on the prevailing orientation field within the matrix. Dynamic interactions (forces and torques) on and among particles dispersed in liquid crystals are also being considered, both experimentally and theoretically.

Collaborations with other faculties include computer simulations to elucidate the microscopic behavior of polymer chains in the melt and solutions under electric fields (with E. Maginn), as well as the study of concentrated suspensions of particles in viscoelastic liquids (with D.T. Leighton)

Characterization tools include: polarized optical microscopy, scanning electron microscope, rheometry, differential scanning calorimetry, size exclusion chromatography, dielectric spectroscopy, and scanning-angle reflectometry.

Education

Dottre in Ingegneria Chimica, Universita'di Napoli, Italy (1983)

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (1990)

Biography

Courses

  • CBE 40443 - Separation Processes - This course demonstrates the application of the principles of phase equilibria, transport processes, and chemical kinetics to the design and characterization of stagewise and continuous separation processes.
  • CBE 40456 - Polymer Engineering - A course for seniors and graduate students in science and engineering who are interested in applications of engineering to polymer science and technology. Topics include polymerization reactions and the structure, properties, processing, and production of polymers.
  • CBE 60542 - Mathematical Methods in Engineering I - Rigorous development of tools of mathematical analysis and application of these to solve engineering problems. Topics include matrices, linear and nonlinear ordinary differential equations, special functions, and modeling.
  • CBE 60556 - Polymer Engineering - A course for seniors and graduate students in science and engineering who are interested in applications of engineering to polymer science and technology. Topics include polymerization reactions and the structure, properties, processing, and production of polymers.