Materials applications in energy research include creating and improving power supplies, working with alternative power sources, and improving materials processing and recycling. DMSE faculty are exploring many aspects of energy storage, including large-scale grid storage, solar cells, car batteries, and batteries for devices.


Angela Belcher

Head of the Department of Biological Engineering; James Mason Crafts Professor; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Professor of Bioengineering

Professor Belcher is engineering bio-inspired organic and inorganic hybrid materials for a wide variety of applications that range from fuel cells to imaging for tiny tumor detection.

W. Craig Carter

Toyota Professor of Materials Processing

Professor Carter uses computational and theoretical approaches to inform microstructure evolution and its impact on properties with applications in energy storage and devices.

Yet-Ming Chiang

Kyocera Professor; National Academy of Engineering

Professor Chiang is focused on reducing global greenhouse gases in as many sectors as possible. Projects include batteries used in cars and aviation, ultra-low-cost energy storage for grid applications, municipal waste ash mining for valuable chemicals, electrifying production of Portland cement production, and more.

Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli

Assistant Professor in Materials Processing; Jeffrey Cheah Career Development Chair in Engineering

Professor Gomez-Bombarelli is applying machine learning and atomistic simulations to materials design, solving problems from thermoset plastic recycling to design of nanoporous catalysts.

Jeffrey C. Grossman

Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; MacVicar Fellow

Professor Grossman is designing nanomaterials for applications that range from clean energy to water filtration and energy-efficient separations, with a goal of making an impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

James M. LeBeau

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor LeBeau connects structure to properties using electron microscopy and advanced data analytics to inform where defects and interfaces are and the chemical nature of those structures. This cutting-edge characterization approach informs behavior of ferroelectrics, semiconductors, materials for quantum computing, structural materials and energy storage.

Ju Li

Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Li develops nanostructured materials for energy storage and conversion, in applications such as batteries and fuel cells, as well as materials for extreme environments such as nuclear fission and fusion applications.

Robert J. Macfarlane

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Macfarlane synthesizes hierarchically structured polymer nanocomposites via self-assembly for application in coatings, structural materials, optical wave guides, drug delivery, filtration, adhesives, and battery electrolytes.

Frances M. Ross

Ellen Swallow Richards Professor in Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Frances Ross designs new methods of in situ microscopy, allowing views of material growth in real time at the atomic scale and giving insight into how complex nanostructures can be formed.

Donald R. Sadoway

John F. Elliott Professor Emeritus of Materials Chemistry

Professor Sadoway's research is focused on extreme electrochemistry for grid-level storage (liquid metal battery), decarbonization of steelmaking (molten oxide electrolysis), safe, scalable energy storage for electric vehicles (aluminum-sulfur battery), and eradication of point-source CO2 emissions post production (molten salt electrolysis). 

Yang Shao-Horn

JR East Professor of Engineering

Professor Shao-Horn's work is focused on energy storage, using electrocatalysis to improve energy density in Li–ion batteries and exploring future technologies for effective grid and transportation storage.

Carl V. Thompson

Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Director, Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) at MIT

Professor Thompson studies the evolution and control of nano- and meso-scale structures. Current research focuses effects of structure evolution on the performance and reliability of materials used in thin-film batteries, electronic devices such as high-performance transistors, and microelectronic integrated circuits.

Harry L. Tuller

R.P. Simmons Professor of Ceramics and Electronic Materials

Professor Tuller studies defect and nano structure and its implication at multiple levels and across many properties for metal oxide materials towards functional application in energy conversion and storage and memory devices.

Bilge Yildiz

Breene M. Kerr (1951) Professor; Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Yildiz's work advances next generation energy conversion, storage and information processing, based on solid state ionic-electronic materials, in aplications such as fuel cells, electrolyzers, batteries and energy-efficent hardware for brain-inspired computing.


Manufacturing a cleaner future

Startups founded by engineers are at the forefront of developing solutions to mitigate the environmental impact of manufacturing.  

A new concept for low-cost batteries

Made from inexpensive, abundant materials, an aluminum-sulfur battery could provide low-cost backup storage for renewable energy sources.  

Building better batteries, faster

PhD student Pablo Leon uses machine learning to expedite research on novel battery materials, while helping newer students navigate graduate school.  

Flexible fiber battery

The rechargeable battery can be woven and washed, and could provide power for fiber-based electronic devices and sensors.  

A fix for foulants

Researchers devise a practical solution for preventing corrosive CRUD buildup in nuclear systems.  

Water oxidation

Study unveils details of how a widely used catalyst splits water  

A powerful new battery could give us electric planes that don’t pollute

Brightly colored molecular models line two walls of Yet-Ming Chiang’s office at MIT. Chiang, a materials science professor and serial battery entrepreneur, has spent much of his career studying how slightly different arrangements of those sticks and spheres add up to radically different outcomes…