Olivier Delaire, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Chemistry 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 2020):

  • Me 221l.002, Struc/prop of solids Synopsis
    Fitzpatrk 1464, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
  • Me 221l.04l, Struc/prop of solids Synopsis
    Hudson 029f, W 01:25 PM-04:20 PM
  • Me 221l.05l, Struc/prop of solids Synopsis
    Hudson 029f, M 03:05 PM-06:00 PM
  • Me 221l.06l, Struc/prop of solids Synopsis
    Hudson 029f, Tu 03:05 PM-06:00 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Bansal, D; Niedziela, JL; He, X; Lanigan-Atkins, T; Said, A; Alatas, A; Abernathy, DL; Ren, Y; Gao, B; Cheong, SW; Delaire, O, Lattice dynamics of the hybrid improper ferroelectrics (Ca,Sr)3Ti2 O7, Physical Review B, vol. 100 no. 21 (December, 2019) [doi]  [abs].
  2. Leiner, JC; Jeschke, HO; Valentí, R; Zhang, S; Savici, AT; Lin, JYY; Stone, MB; Lumsden, MD; Hong, J; Delaire, O; Bao, W; Broholm, CL, Frustrated Magnetism in Mott Insulating (V1-xCrx)2 O3, Physical Review X, vol. 9 no. 1 (February, 2019) [doi]  [abs].
  3. 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 CuCrSe 2, Nature Physics, vol. 15 no. 1 (January, 2019), pp. 73-78, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  4. Bansal, D; Niedziela, JL; Sinclair, R; Garlea, VO; Abernathy, DL; Chi, S; Ren, Y; Zhou, H; Delaire, O, Momentum-resolved observations of the phonon instability driving geometric improper ferroelectricity in yttrium manganite, Nature Communications, vol. 9 no. 1 (December, 2018), pp. 15 [doi]  [abs].
  5. 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].


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.