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 (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

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

Lee, Sangwook, et al. “Anomalously low electronic thermal conductivity in metallic vanadium dioxide.Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 355, no. 6323, Jan. 2017, pp. 371–74. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.aag0410. Full Text

Bao, Feng, et al. “Complex optimization for big computational and experimental neutron datasets.Nanotechnology, vol. 27, no. 48, Dec. 2016, p. 484002. Epmc, doi:10.1088/0957-4484/27/48/484002. Full Text