Olivier Delaire

Olivier Delaire

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Associate Professor of Chemistry (Secondary)

Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Office Location: 
3395 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
3395 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-5606


Olivier Delaire's research program investigates atomistic transport processes of energy and charge, and thermodynamics in energy materials (DOE Early Career Award 2014). His research group studies  elementary excitations in condensed-matter systems (phonons, electrons, spins), their couplings (phonon-phonon interaction, electron-phonon coupling, spin-phonon coupling), and their effects on macroscopic material properties. Current materials of interest include thermoelectrics, ferroelectrics/multiferroics, spin-caloritronics, and photovoltaics. We develop 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 with novel properties (thermoelectrics, spin-caloritronics), and to rationalize multiferroics and metal-insulator transitions. 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

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

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

Wall, Simon, et al. “Ultrafast disordering of vanadium dimers in photoexcited VO2..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 362, no. 6414, Nov. 2018, pp. 572–76. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.aau3873. Full Text

Krauskopf, Thorben, et al. “Comparing the Descriptors for Investigating the Influence of Lattice Dynamics on Ionic Transport Using the Superionic Conductor Na3PS4- xSe x..” Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 140, no. 43, Oct. 2018, pp. 14464–73. Epmc, doi:10.1021/jacs.8b09340. Full Text

Liu, K., et al. “Recent progresses on physics and applications of vanadium dioxide.” Materials Today, vol. 21, no. 8, Oct. 2018, pp. 875–96. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.mattod.2018.03.029. Full Text

Mao, J., et al. “Self-compensation induced vacancies for significant phonon scattering in InSb.” Nano Energy, vol. 48, June 2018, pp. 189–96. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.03.058. Full Text

Zevalkink, A., et al. “A practical field guide to thermoelectrics: Fundamentals, synthesis, and characterization.” Applied Physics Reviews, vol. 5, no. 2, June 2018. Scopus, doi:10.1063/1.5021094. Full Text

Muy, S., et al. “Tuning mobility and stability of lithium ion conductors based on lattice dynamics.” Energy and Environmental Science, vol. 11, no. 4, Apr. 2018, pp. 850–59. Scopus, doi:10.1039/c7ee03364h. Full Text

Luo, C., et al. “Neutron and x-ray scattering study of phonon dispersion and diffuse scattering in (Na,Bi)Ti O3-xBaTi O3 single crystals near the morphotropic phase boundary.” Physical Review B, vol. 96, no. 17, Nov. 2017. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.96.174108. Full Text


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.

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.