Olivier Delaire, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Physics and Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative  

Olivier Delaire

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

Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2006
M.Sc., Pennsylvania State University, 2000
Diplôme d’Ingénieur, Ecole Centrale Lyon, France, 1999

Research Description: Olivier Delaire is an expert in the field of atomic dynamics in materials, with 15-plus years of experience in both experimental and computational studies of lattice dynamics (phonons).

Teaching (Spring 2019):

  • Me 221l.002, Struc/prop of solids Synopsis
    Hudson 208, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
  • Me 221l.04l, Struc/prop of solids Synopsis
    Tba, W 01:25 PM-04:20 PM
  • Me 221l.05l, Struc/prop of solids Synopsis
    Tba, M 03:05 PM-06:00 PM
  • Me 221l.06l, Struc/prop of solids Synopsis
    Tba, Tu 03:05 PM-06:00 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Niedziela, JL; Bansal, D; May, AF; Ding, J; Lanigan-Atkins, T; Ehlers, G; Abernathy, DL; Said, A; Delaire, O, Selective breakdown of phonon quasiparticles across superionic transition in CuCrSe2, Nature Physics, vol. 15 no. 1 (January, 2019), pp. 73-78, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  2. Wall, S; Yang, S; Vidas, L; Chollet, M; Glownia, JM; Kozina, M; Katayama, T; Henighan, T; Jiang, M; Miller, TA; Reis, DA; Boatner, LA; Delaire, O; Trigo, M, Ultrafast disordering of vanadium dimers in photoexcited VO2., Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 362 no. 6414 (November, 2018), pp. 572-576 [doi]  [abs].
  3. Krauskopf, T; Muy, S; Culver, SP; Ohno, S; Delaire, O; Shao-Horn, Y; Zeier, WG, 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 (October, 2018), pp. 14464-14473 [doi]  [abs].
  4. Liu, K; Lee, S; Yang, S; Delaire, O; Wu, J, Recent progresses on physics and applications of vanadium dioxide, Materials Today, vol. 21 no. 8 (October, 2018), pp. 875-896, Elsevier BV [doi]  [abs].
  5. Zevalkink, A; Smiadak, DM; Blackburn, JL; Ferguson, AJ; Chabinyc, ML; Delaire, O; Wang, J; Kovnir, K; Martin, J; Schelhas, LT; Sparks, TD; Kang, SD; Dylla, MT; Snyder, GJ; Ortiz, BR; Toberer, ES, A practical field guide to thermoelectrics: Fundamentals, synthesis, and characterization, Applied Physics Reviews, vol. 5 no. 2 (June, 2018), pp. 021303-021303, AIP Publishing [doi] .


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.