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 (Fall 2018):

  • Me 555.11, Advanced topics Synopsis
    Teer 114, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. 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) [doi]  [abs].
  2. 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 [doi] .
  3. Mao, J; Niedziela, JL; Wang, Y; Xia, Y; Ge, B; Liu, Z; Zhou, J; Ren, Z; Liu, W; Chan, MKY; Chen, G; Delaire, O; Zhang, Q; Ren, Z, Self-compensation induced vacancies for significant phonon scattering in InSb, Nano Energy, vol. 48 (June, 2018), pp. 189-196 [doi] .
  4. Liu, K; Lee, S; Yang, S; Delaire, O; Wu, J, Recent progresses on physics and applications of vanadium dioxide, Materials Today (April, 2018) [doi]  [abs].
  5. Jain, P; Bansal, D; Sharma, G; Bhattacharya, A; Ingale, B; Delaire, O; Chatterjee, R, Observation of low temperature metastable states in complex CaMn7O12., Journal of Physics. Condensed Matter : an Institute of Physics Journal (January, 2018) [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.