Olivier Delaire

Olivier Delaire

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

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

Luo, C., et al. “Hierarchical domain structure of lead-free piezoelectric (Na1/2 Bi1/2)TiO3-(K1/2 Bi1/2)TiO3 single crystals.” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 119, no. 17, May 2016. Scopus, doi:10.1063/1.4948478. Full Text

May, A. F., et al. “Structural phase transition and phonon instability in Cu12Sb4S13.” Physical Review B, vol. 93, no. 6, Feb. 2016. Manual, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.93.064104. Full Text

Li, C. W., et al. “Orbitally driven giant phonon anharmonicity in SnSe.” Nature Physics, vol. 11, no. 12, Dec. 2015, pp. 1063–69. Scopus, doi:10.1038/nphys3492. Full Text

Bansal, D., et al. “Electron-phonon coupling and thermal transport in the thermoelectric compound Mo3Sb(7−x)Te(x).” Physical Review B, vol. 92, no. 21, Dec. 2015. Manual, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.92.214301. Full Text Open Access Copy

Specht, E. D., et al. “Nanoscale Structure in AgSbTe2 Determined by Diffuse Elastic Neutron Scattering.” Journal of Electronic Materials, vol. 44, no. 6, June 2015, pp. 1536–39. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s11664-014-3447-0. Full Text

Delaire, O., et al. “Heavy-impurity resonance, hybridization, and phonon spectral functions in Fe(1−x)M(x)Si (M=Ir, Os).” Physical Review B, vol. 91, no. 9, Mar. 2015. Manual, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.91.094307. Full Text

Chen, Xi, et al. “Twisting phonons in complex crystals with quasi-one-dimensional substructures..” Nature Communications, vol. 6, Jan. 2015. Epmc, doi:10.1038/ncomms7723. Full Text

Li, C. W., et al. “Anharmonicity and atomic distribution of SnTe and PbTe thermoelectrics.” Physical Review B  Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, vol. 90, no. 21, Dec. 2014. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.90.214303. Full Text

Budai, John D., et al. “Metallization of vanadium dioxide driven by large phonon entropy..” Nature, vol. 515, no. 7528, Nov. 2014, pp. 535–39. Epmc, doi:10.1038/nature13865. Full Text