Olivier Delaire

Olivier Delaire

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Associate Professor of Physics (Secondary)

Associate Professor of Chemistry (Secondary)

Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Office Location: 
144 Hudson Hall, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
3395 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-5310


Olivier Delaire's research program investigates atomistic transport processes of energy and charge, and thermodynamics in energy materials. The nanoscale studies probe atomic dynamics and elementary excitations in condensed-matter systems (phonons, electrons, spins), their couplings and their effects on macroscopic material properties. Current materials of interest include thermoelectrics, ferroelectrics/multiferroics, spin-caloritronics, and photovoltaics. The Delaire group develops new methods to reveal microscopic underpinnings of thermal transport, by integrating neutron and x-ray scattering measurements with quantum-mechanical computer simulations. This combined experimental and computational approach opens a new window to understand and control microscopic energy transport for the design of materials enabling novel technologies for energy applications (thermoelectrics, solid-state batteries, photovoltaics) and information storage and processing (multiferroics, metal-insulator transitions, topological materials). In addition to state-of-the-art scattering experiments and first-principles simulations, our team also uses transport measurements, optical spectroscopy, materials synthesis, calorimetry, and thermal characterization, with the goal of gaining deeper atomistic understanding for developing future materials.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology 2006

  • M.Sc., Pennsylvania State University 2000

Lanigan-Atkins, T., et al. “Extended anharmonic collapse of phonon dispersions in SnS and SnSe.Nature Communications, vol. 11, no. 1, Sept. 2020, p. 4430. Epmc, doi:10.1038/s41467-020-18121-4. Full Text

Ding, Jingxuan, et al. “Anharmonic lattice dynamics and superionic transition in AgCrSe2.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 117, no. 8, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Feb. 2020, pp. 3930–37. Crossref, doi:10.1073/pnas.1913916117. Full Text Open Access Copy

He, Xing, et al. “Anharmonic Eigenvectors and Acoustic Phonon Disappearance in Quantum Paraelectric SrTiO3.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 124, no. 14, American Physical Society (APS), 2020. Manual, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.124.145901. Full Text

Bansal, Dipanshu, et al. “Magnetically driven phonon instability enables the metal–insulator transition in h-FeS.” Nature Physics, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020. Manual, doi:10.1038/s41567-020-0857-1. Full Text

Bansal, D., et al. “Lattice dynamics of the hybrid improper ferroelectrics (Ca,Sr)3Ti2 O7.” Physical Review B, vol. 100, no. 21, Dec. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.100.214304. Full Text

Neu, J., et al. “Orthorhombic to monoclinic phase transition in NbNiTe2.” Physical Review B, vol. 100, no. 14, Oct. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.100.144102. Full Text

Li, F., et al. “High-resolution phonon energy shift measurements with the inelastic neutron spin echo technique.” Journal of Applied Crystallography, vol. 52, no. 4, Aug. 2019, pp. 755–60. Scopus, doi:10.1107/S1600576719008008. Full Text

Leiner, J. C., et al. “Frustrated Magnetism in Mott Insulating (V1-xCrx)2 O3.” Physical Review X, vol. 9, no. 1, Feb. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.9.011035. Full Text

Niedziela, J. L., et al. “Selective breakdown of phonon quasiparticles across superionic transition in CuCrSe 2.” Nature Physics, vol. 15, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 73–78. Scopus, doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0298-2. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bansal, D., et al. “Momentum-resolved observations of the phonon instability driving geometric improper ferroelectricity in yttrium manganite.” Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1, Dec. 2018. Scopus, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02309-2. Full Text Open Access Copy


Muy, Sokseiha, et al. “Mobility and stability descriptors of lithium ion conductors based on lattice dynamics.” Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, vol. 255, AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2018.

Borreguero, J. M., et al. “Integrating advanced materials simulation techniques into an automated data analysis workflow at the spallation neutron source.” Tms Annual Meeting, 2014, pp. 297–308. Scopus, doi:10.1002/9781118889879.ch39. Full Text

Delaire, O., et al. “Vibrational thermodynamics of vanadium and dilute vanadium alloys.” Proceedings of an International Conference on Solid Solid Phase Transformations in Inorganic Materials 2005, vol. 2, 2005, pp. 359–74.

Delaire, O., et al. “Entropy of the γ- α martensitic transformation in Fe 71Ni29.” Proceedings of an International Conference on Solid Solid Phase Transformations in Inorganic Materials 2005, vol. 2, 2005, pp. 75–80.

Delaire, Olivier, et al. “Entropy of the gamma-alpha martensitic transformation in Fe71Ni29.” Solid Solid Phase Transformations in Inorganic Material 2005, Vol 2, edited by J. M. Howe et al., MINERALS, METALS & MATERIALS SOC, 2005, pp. 75–80.

Manley, M. E., et al. “The importance of high temperature electron-phonon coupling to the thermodynamic properties of Ce0.9Th0.1 and other f-electron bonded metals.” Actinides Basic Science, Applications and Technology, edited by L. Soderholm et al., vol. 802, MATERIALS RESEARCH SOCIETY, 2004, pp. 47–52.

Motta, A. T., et al. “Synchrotron radiation study of secondphase particles and alloying elements in zirconium alloys.” Astm Special Technical Publication, no. 1423, 2002, pp. 59–77. Scopus, doi:10.1520/stp11383s. Full Text

Delaire, Olivier. Final Technical Report - DOE Early Career award DE-SC0016166, "Quasiparticle Couplings in Transport of Heat, Charge, and Spin for Novel Energy Materials". Office of Scientific and Technical Information  (OSTI). Crossref, doi:10.2172/1594952. Full Text