Iwnetim Abate

  • Assistant Professor
  • Chipman Career Development Chair in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 2021
  • M.Sc., Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 2018
  • B.S., Physics, Minnesota State University Moorhead, 2015

Computational Materials Science; Electrochemistry; Energy Storage; Magnetic Materials; Materials Chemistry; Surfaces, Interfaces, and Thin Films

A picture of Professor Iwnetim Abate


The Abate Lab at MIT aims at developing material and device solutions for two current grand challenges: climate change and energy accessibility. Global energy transition to renewables is indispensable to combat these challenges and ultimately ensure the continuity of life on earth. Electrochemistry and materials play one of the most significant roles in enabling the energy transition. The Abate lab at MIT is delighted to be part of this era, to stand on the shoulder of giants and make meaningful and impactful contributions to the society through materials innovation and novel electrochemical devices. To ensure for equitable and sustainable energy transition, our group will focus on discovering high-performance, low-cost, sustainable, and environmentally friendly materials.
Working at the nexus of electrochemistry, condensed matter physics and materials chemistry, we manipulate electrons and spins in layered materials (oxides, two-dimensional materials, and their heterostructures) to develop next generation batteries, catalysis/sensing platforms, and materials for neuromorphic and quantum computing. We aim at achieving mechanistic understanding from atom to system level using theory, computation, and experiment. We are primary an experimental group but apply established computational tools (e.g., DFT for ground state and OCEAN for excited state calculations) to accurately interpret our experimental results. Our experiments involve synthesis and characterization at material and device level using electrochemical, electron, optical and X-ray characterization techniques (both at MIT ad Synchrotron sources). We benefit from the feedback loop between experiment and computation, which accelerates discovery and enable us to tackle the complex problems in energy materials.
Professor Abate is also a co-founder and president of a nonprofit organization (www.scifro.org) working to empower the African youth to solve local problems through scientific research and innovation. The organization is generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Science Foundation, American Physical Society, and others. 
Previously, Professor Abate was Miller and Presidential Fellow at UC Berkeley (with Professor Mark Asta and Kwabena Bedikao) working on layered materials for application in computing, catalysis, and sensing. His PhD in materials science and engineering at Stanford focused on designing high-performance materials for Li- and Na-ion batteries and elucidating their reaction mechanism (with Professor William Chueh and Thomas Devereaux). Before joining Stanford, he was researcher at IBM Alamden and Los Alamos National Laboratory working on metal-air batteries and hybrid perovskite solar cells, respectively.