Professor Yet-Ming Chiang’s research aims to design, synthesize, and characterize advanced materials and devices for use in clean energy technologies, including low-carbon transportation, grid-scale electrical energy storage, and sustainable manufacturing. His group studies electrochemical storage materials and devices. Other focuses are electrochemical processes for the decarbonization of materials production and the mining, separation, and recovery of elements from various feedstocks. Projects center on novel conduction mechanisms in solid electrolytes, solid-state batteries, batteries for electric aviation, low-cost highly scalable grid storage batteries, decarbonization of cement production, and electrochemical mining of ashes and other wastes.


Professor Chiang earned a BS in materials science and engineering from MIT in 1980 and a doctorate in ceramics from MIT in 1985. Today, his laboratory’s work ranges from basic research to process and prototype development. He has brought several laboratory discoveries to commercialization, including high-power lithium iron phosphate batteries, more efficient lithium-ion battery manufacturing processes, batteries for long-duration grid storage, and electrochemical cement production. He co-directs a flagship project under MIT Climate Grand Challenges on the decarbonization of industrial materials production.

Key Publications

Controlling dendrite propagation in solid-state batteries with engineered stress

Showed how metal filaments called dendrites form in solid-state batteries, and how their damaging effects can be reduced or averted altogether. Dendrites are one of the causes of premature failure of rechargeable batteries.

One way to a safer and lightweight lithium-ion battery is replacing the flammable liquid electrolyte with a thin layer of ceramic solid and one of the electrodes with solid lithium metal. Unfortunately, doing so leads to battery failure by promoting the formation of dendrites at the metal electrode during charging. Understanding the mechanisms that cause dendrite formation can aid in its prevention, extend battery life, and permit batteries to be charged faster.

Learning how rechargeable batteries fail can increase their utility, a key aspect of sustainability initiatives.

Awards & Honors

Fellow, Electrochemical Society
World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Award
Fellow, The Materials Research Society
Elected member, National Academy of Engineering
Fellow, The American Ceramics Society