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

Yue, A. F., et al. “Vibrations of micro-eV energies in nanocrystalline microstructures.Physical Review Letters, vol. 93, no. 20, Nov. 2004, p. 205501. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.93.205501. Full Text

Delaire, O., et al. “Negative entropy of mixing for vanadium-platinum solutions.Physical Review Letters, vol. 93, no. 18, Oct. 2004, p. 185704. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.93.185704. Full Text

Yilmazbayhan, A., et al. “Determination of the alloying content in the matrix of Zr alloys using synchrotron radiation microprobe X-ray fluorescence.” Journal of Nuclear Materials, vol. 321, no. 2–3, Sept. 2003, pp. 221–32. Scopus, doi:10.1016/S0022-3115(03)00267-8. Full Text

Manley, M. E., et al. “No role for phonon entropy in the fcc-fcc volume collapse transition in Ce0.9Th0.1 at ambient pressure.” Physical Review B, vol. 67, no. 1, Jan. 2003. Manual, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.67.014103. Full Text

Erwin, K. T., et al. “Observation of second-phase particles in bulk zirconium alloys using synchrotron radiation.” Journal of Nuclear Materials, vol. 294, no. 3, Apr. 2001, pp. 299–304. Scopus, doi:10.1016/S0022-3115(01)00436-6. Full Text

Delaire, Olivier A., and C. Stassis. Phonon Studies. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Crossref, doi:10.1002/0471266965.com100.pub2. Full Text