Olivier Delaire


Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

The Delaire group investigates atomistic transport processes of energy and charge, and thermodynamics in energy materials. We use a combined experimental and computational approach to understand and control microscopic energy transport for the design of next-generation materials, in particular for sustainable energy applications. Current materials of interest include superionic conductors, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, ferroelectrics/multiferroics, and metal-insulator transitions. Our group's studies provide fundamental insights into  atomic dynamics and elementary excitations in condensed-matter systems (phonons, electrons, spins), their couplings and their effects on macroscopic properties. We probe the microscopic underpinnings of transport and thermodynamics properties by integrating neutron and x-ray scattering, optical spectroscopy, and thermal characterization, together with quantum-mechanical computer simulations.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Associate Professor of Physics

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 144 Hudson Hall, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5310
  • Email Address: olivier.delaire@duke.edu
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 2006
  • M.Sc. Pennsylvania State University, 2000

Research Interests

Olivier Delaire investigates atomic dynamics in materials, focusing on problems at the interface of Materials Science, Physics and Chemistry. His research group utilizes a range of experimental and computational approaches, including neutron and x-ray scattering techniques, optical spectroscopy, and first-principles quantum materials simulations.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • DOE EARLY CAREER AWARD 2014 “Quasiparticle Couplings in Transport of Heat, Charge, and Spin for Novel Energy Materials”. Department of Energy. 2014
  • World Materials Research Institute Forum Prize, 2nd International Workshop for Young Materials Scientists, Berlin, Germany. World Materials Research Institute. 2010
  • Director's Award, Outstanding Science Team Accomplishment. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 2009
  • Clifford G. Shull Fellowship. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 2008
  • Louis Rosen Prize. Los Alamos National Laboratory . 2008
  • Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award. Neutron Scattering Society of America. 2006

Courses Taught

  • ME 490: Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 510: Diffraction and Spectrometry of Materials
  • ME 591: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 758S: Curricular Practical Training
  • MSEG 591: Independent Study
  • PHYSICS 995: Graduate Training Internship

In the News

Representative Publications

  • de la Peña Muñoz, GA; Correa, AA; Yang, S; Delaire, O; Huang, Y; Johnson, AS; Katayama, T; Krapivin, V; Pastor, E; Reis, DA; Teitelbaum, S; Vidas, L; Wall, S; Trigo, M, Ultrafast lattice disordering can be accelerated by electronic collisional forces, Nature Physics, vol 19 no. 10 (2023), pp. 1489-1494 [10.1038/s41567-023-02118-z] [abs].
  • Ren, Q; Gupta, MK; Jin, M; Ding, J; Wu, J; Chen, Z; Lin, S; Fabelo, O; Rodríguez-Velamazán, JA; Kofu, M; Nakajima, K; Wolf, M; Zhu, F; Wang, J; Cheng, Z; Wang, G; Tong, X; Pei, Y; Delaire, O; Ma, J, Extreme phonon anharmonicity underpins superionic diffusion and ultralow thermal conductivity in argyrodite Ag8SnSe6., Nature Materials, vol 22 no. 8 (2023), pp. 999-1006 [10.1038/s41563-023-01560-x] [abs].
  • Gupta, MK; Ding, J; Bansal, D; Abernathy, DL; Ehlers, G; Osti, NC; Zeier, WG; Delaire, O, Strongly Anharmonic Phonons and Their Role in Superionic Diffusion and Ultralow Thermal Conductivity of Cu7PSe6, Advanced Energy Materials, vol 12 no. 23 (2022) [10.1002/aenm.202200596] [abs].
  • Li, J; Wu, L; Yang, S; Jin, X; Wang, W; Tao, J; Boatner, L; Babzien, M; Fedurin, M; Palmer, M; Yin, W; Delaire, O; Zhu, Y, Direct Detection of V-V Atom Dimerization and Rotation Dynamic Pathways upon Ultrafast Photoexcitation in VO2, Physical Review X, vol 12 no. 2 (2022) [10.1103/PhysRevX.12.021032] [abs].
  • Huang, Y; Yang, S; Teitelbaum, S; De La Peña, G; Sato, T; Chollet, M; Zhu, D; Niedziela, JL; Bansal, D; May, AF; Lindenberg, AM; Delaire, O; Reis, DA; Trigo, M, Observation of a Novel Lattice Instability in Ultrafast Photoexcited SnSe, Physical Review X, vol 12 no. 1 (2022) [10.1103/PhysRevX.12.011029] [abs].
  • Gupta, MK; Ding, J; Osti, NC; Abernathy, DL; Arnold, W; Wang, H; Hood, Z; Delaire, O, Fast Na diffusion and anharmonic phonon dynamics in superionic Na3PS4, Energy Environ. Sci., vol 14 no. 12 (2021), pp. 6554-6563 [10.1039/d1ee01509e] [abs].
  • Rettie, AJE; Ding, J; Zhou, X; Johnson, MJ; Malliakas, CD; Osti, NC; Chung, DY; Osborn, R; Delaire, O; Rosenkranz, S; Kanatzidis, MG, A two-dimensional type I superionic conductor., Nature Materials, vol 20 no. 12 (2021), pp. 1683-1688 [10.1038/s41563-021-01053-9] [abs].
  • Lanigan-Atkins, T; He, X; Krogstad, MJ; Pajerowski, DM; Abernathy, DL; Xu, GNMN; Xu, Z; Chung, D-Y; Kanatzidis, MG; Rosenkranz, S; Osborn, R; Delaire, O, Two-dimensional overdamped fluctuations of the soft perovskite lattice in CsPbBr3., Nature Materials, vol 20 no. 7 (2021), pp. 977-983 [10.1038/s41563-021-00947-y] [abs].
  • Ding, J; Lanigan-Atkins, T; Calderón-Cueva, M; Banerjee, A; Abernathy, DL; Said, A; Zevalkink, A; Delaire, O, Soft anharmonic phonons and ultralow thermal conductivity in Mg3(Sb, Bi)2 thermoelectrics., Science Advances, vol 7 no. 21 (2021) [10.1126/sciadv.abg1449] [abs].
  • Niedziela, JL; Bansal, D; Ding, J; Lanigan-Atkins, T; Li, C; May, AF; Wang, H; Lin, JYY; Abernathy, DL; Ehlers, G; Huq, A; Parshall, D; Lynn, JW; Delaire, O, Controlling phonon lifetimes via sublattice disordering in AgBiSe2, Physical Review Materials, vol 4 no. 10 (2020) [10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.4.105402] [abs].
  • Lanigan-Atkins, T; Yang, S; Niedziela, JL; Bansal, D; May, AF; Puretzky, AA; Lin, JYY; Pajerowski, DM; Hong, T; Chi, S; Ehlers, G; Delaire, O, Extended anharmonic collapse of phonon dispersions in SnS and SnSe, Nature Communications, vol 11 no. 1 (2020) [10.1038/s41467-020-18121-4] [abs].
  • Ding, J; Niedziela, JL; Bansal, D; Wang, J; He, X; May, AF; Ehlers, G; Abernathy, DL; Said, A; Alatas, A; Ren, Y; Arya, G; Delaire, O, Anharmonic lattice dynamics and superionic transition in AgCrSe
    , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 117 no. 8 (2020), pp. 3930-3937 [10.1073/pnas.1913916117] [abs].
  • He, X; Bansal, D; Winn, B; Chi, S; Boatner, L; Delaire, O, Anharmonic Eigenvectors and Acoustic Phonon Disappearance in Quantum Paraelectric
    , Physical Review Letters, vol 124 no. 14 (2020) [10.1103/physrevlett.124.145901] [abs].
  • Bansal, D; Niedziela, JL; Calder, S; Lanigan-Atkins, T; Rawl, R; Said, AH; Abernathy, DL; Kolesnikov, AI; Zhou, H; Delaire, O, Magnetically driven phonon instability enables the metal–insulator transition in h-FeS, Nature Physics (2020) [10.1038/s41567-020-0857-1] [abs].
  • 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 (2019) [10.1103/PhysRevB.100.214304] [abs].
  • 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 (2019) [10.1103/PhysRevX.9.011035] [abs].
  • 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 (2019), pp. 73-78 [10.1038/s41567-018-0298-2] [abs].
  • 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 (2018) [10.1038/s41467-017-02309-2] [abs].
  • 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 VO
    , Science (New York, N.Y.), vol 362 no. 6414 (2018), pp. 572-576 [10.1126/science.aau3873] [abs].
  • 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 (2018), pp. 875-896 [10.1016/j.mattod.2018.03.029] [abs].
  • Muy, S; Bachman, J; Giordano, L; Abernathy, D; Bansal, D; Delaire, O; Kanno, R; Maglia, F; Lupart, S; Shao-Horn, Y, Mobility and stability descriptors of lithium ion conductors based on lattice dynamics, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, vol 255 (2018) [abs].
  • Luo, C; Bansal, D; Li, J; Viehland, D; Winn, B; Ren, Y; Li, X; Luo, H; Delaire, O, 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 (2017) [10.1103/PhysRevB.96.174108] [abs].
  • Bansal, D; Niedziela, JL; May, AF; Said, A; Ehlers, G; Abernathy, DL; Huq, A; Kirkham, M; Zhou, H; Delaire, O, Lattice dynamics and thermal transport in multiferroic CuCrO2, Physical Review B, vol 95 no. 5 (2017) [10.1103/PhysRevB.95.054306] [abs].
  • Lee, S; Hippalgaonkar, K; Yang, F; Hong, J; Ko, C; Suh, J; Liu, K; Wang, K; Urban, JJ; Zhang, X; Dames, C; Hartnoll, SA; Delaire, O; Wu, J, Anomalously low electronic thermal conductivity in metallic vanadium dioxide., Science (New York, N.Y.), vol 355 no. 6323 (2017), pp. 371-374 [10.1126/science.aag0410] [abs].
  • Bao, F; Archibald, R; Bansal, D; Delaire, O, Hierarchical optimization for neutron scattering problems, Jisuan Wuli/Chinese Journal of Computational Physics, vol 315 (2016), pp. 39-39 [10.1016/j.jcp.2016.03.017] [abs].
  • Luo, C; Wang, Y; Ge, W; Li, J; Viehland, D; Delaire, O; Li, X; Luo, H, Hierarchical domain structure of lead-free piezoelectric (Na1/2 Bi1/2)TiO3-(K1/2 Bi1/2)TiO3 single crystals, Journal of Applied Physics, vol 119 no. 17 (2016) [10.1063/1.4948478] [abs].
  • May, AF; Delaire, O; Niedziela, JL; Lara-Curzio, E; Susner, MA; Abernathy, DL; Kirkham, M; McGuire, MA, Structural phase transition and phonon instability in Cu12Sb4S13, Physical Review B, vol 93 no. 6 (2016) [10.1103/PhysRevB.93.064104] [abs].
  • Li, CW; Hong, J; May, AF; Bansal, D; Chi, S; Hong, T; Ehlers, G; Delaire, O, Orbitally driven giant phonon anharmonicity in SnSe, Nature Physics, vol 11 no. 12 (2015), pp. 1063-1069 [10.1038/nphys3492] [abs].
  • Bansal, D; Li, CW; Said, AH; Abernathy, DL; Yan, J; Delaire, O, Electron-phonon coupling and thermal transport in the thermoelectric compound Mo3Sb(7−x)Te(x), Physical Review B, vol 92 no. 21 (2015) [10.1103/PhysRevB.92.214301] [abs].
  • Delaire, O; Al-Qasir, II; May, AF; Li, CW; Sales, BC; Niedziela, JL; Ma, J; Matsuda, M; Abernathy, DL; Berlijn, T, Heavy-impurity resonance, hybridization, and phonon spectral functions in Fe(1−x)M(x)Si (M=Ir, Os), Physical Review B, vol 91 no. 9 (2015) [10.1103/PhysRevB.91.094307] [abs].
  • Chen, X; Weathers, A; Carrete, J; Mukhopadhyay, S; Delaire, O; Stewart, DA; Mingo, N; Girard, SN; Ma, J; Abernathy, DL; Yan, J; Sheshka, R; Sellan, DP; Meng, F; Jin, S; Zhou, J; Shi, L, Twisting phonons in complex crystals with quasi-one-dimensional substructures., Nature Communications, vol 6 (2015) [10.1038/ncomms7723] [abs].
  • Budai, JD; Hong, J; Manley, ME; Specht, ED; Li, CW; Tischler, JZ; Abernathy, DL; Said, AH; Leu, BM; Boatner, LA; McQueeney, RJ; Delaire, O, Metallization of vanadium dioxide driven by large phonon entropy., Nature, vol 515 no. 7528 (2014), pp. 535-539 [10.1038/nature13865] [abs].
  • Li, CW; Hellman, O; Ma, J; May, AF; Cao, HB; Chen, X; Christianson, AD; Ehlers, G; Singh, DJ; Sales, BC; Delaire, O, Phonon self-energy and origin of anomalous neutron scattering spectra in SnTe and PbTe thermoelectrics., Physical Review Letters, vol 112 no. 17 (2014) [10.1103/physrevlett.112.175501] [abs].
  • Manley, ME; Lynn, JW; Abernathy, DL; Specht, ED; Delaire, O; Bishop, AR; Sahul, R; Budai, JD, Phonon localization drives polar nanoregions in a relaxor ferroelectric., Nature Communications, vol 5 (2014) [10.1038/ncomms4683] [abs].
  • Ma, J; Delaire, O; May, AF; Carlton, CE; McGuire, MA; VanBebber, LH; Abernathy, DL; Ehlers, G; Hong, T; Huq, A; Tian, W; Keppens, VM; Shao-Horn, Y; Sales, BC, Glass-like phonon scattering from a spontaneous nanostructure in AgSbTe2., Nature Nanotechnology, vol 8 no. 6 (2013), pp. 445-451 [10.1038/nnano.2013.95] [abs].
  • Delaire, O; Stone, MB; Ma, J; Huq, A; Gout, D; Brown, C; Wang, KF; Ren, ZF, Anharmonic phonons and magnons in BiFeO 3, Physical Review B, vol 85 no. 6 (2012) [10.1103/PhysRevB.85.064405] [abs].
  • Delaire, O; Ma, J; Marty, K; May, AF; McGuire, MA; Du, M-H; Singh, DJ; Podlesnyak, A; Ehlers, G; Lumsden, MD; Sales, BC, Giant anharmonic phonon scattering in PbTe., Nature Materials, vol 10 no. 8 (2011), pp. 614-619 [10.1038/nmat3035] [abs].
  • Delaire, O; Marty, K; Stone, MB; Kent, PRC; Lucas, MS; Abernathy, DL; Mandrus, D; Sales, BC, Phonon softening and metallization of a narrow-gap semiconductor by thermal disorder, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 108 no. 12 (2011), pp. 4725-4730 [10.1073/pnas.1014869108] [abs].
  • Delaire, O; Lucas, MS; Dos Santos, AM; Subedi, A; Sefat, AS; McGuire, MA; Mauger, L; Muñoz, JA; Tulk, CA; Xiao, Y; Somayazulu, M; Zhao, JY; Sturhahn, W; Alp, EE; Singh, DJ; Sales, BC; Mandrus, D; Egami, T, Temperature and pressure dependence of the Fe-specific phonon density of states in Ba ( Fe1-x Cox)2As2, Physical Review B, vol 81 no. 9 (2010) [10.1103/PhysRevB.81.094504] [abs].
  • Christianson, AD; Lumsden, MD; Delaire, O; Stone, MB; Abernathy, DL; McGuire, MA; Sefat, AS; Jin, R; Sales, BC; Mandrus, D; Mun, ED; Canfield, PC; Lin, JY; Lucas, M; Kresch, M; Keith, JB; Fultz, B; Goremychkin, EA; McQueeney, RJ, Phonon density of states of LaFeAsO(1-x)Fx., Physical Review Letters, vol 101 no. 15 (2008) [10.1103/physrevlett.101.157004] [abs].
  • Delaire, O; Lucas, MS; Muñoz, JA; Kresch, M; Fultz, B, Adiabatic electron-phonon interaction and high-temperature thermodynamics of A15 compounds., Physical Review Letters, vol 101 no. 10 (2008) [10.1103/physrevlett.101.105504] [abs].
  • Delaire, O; Fultz, B, Charge redistribution and phonon entropy of vanadium alloys., Physical Review Letters, vol 97 no. 24 (2006) [10.1103/physrevlett.97.245701] [abs].
  • Yue, AF; Papandrew, AB; Delaire, O; Fultz, B; Chowdhuri, Z; Dimeo, RM; Neumann, DA, Vibrations of micro-eV energies in nanocrystalline microstructures., Physical Review Letters, vol 93 no. 20 (2004) [10.1103/physrevlett.93.205501] [abs].
  • Delaire, O; Swan-Wood, T; Fultz, B, Negative entropy of mixing for vanadium-platinum solutions., Physical Review Letters, vol 93 no. 18 (2004) [10.1103/physrevlett.93.185704] [abs].