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

Wall, Simon, et al. “Ultrafast disordering of vanadium dimers in photoexcited VO2.” Science, vol. 362, no. 6414, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Nov. 2018, pp. 572–76. Crossref, 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

Mukhopadhyay, S., et al. “The curious case of cuprous chloride: Giant thermal resistance and anharmonic quasiparticle spectra driven by dispersion nesting.” Physical Review B, vol. 96, no. 10, Sept. 2017. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.96.100301. Full Text

Berlijn, T., et al. “Itinerant Antiferromagnetism in RuO2.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 118, no. 7, Feb. 2017. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.077201. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bansal, D., et al. “Lattice dynamics and thermal transport in multiferroic CuCrO2.” Physical Review B, vol. 95, no. 5, Feb. 2017. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.95.054306. Full Text