Department of
Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

Image of Ming Li

Ming Li

Associate Professor in Materials, Faculty of Engineering



Dr Ming Li obtained his Ph.D. in 2008 from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield under the supervision of Professor Derek C. Sinclair. Prior to studying in the UK, he obtained his M.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering from Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2004 and B.Sc. in Chemistry from Shenzhen University, China in 2001. Upon completing his Ph.D., he remained in Sheffield working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) with Professor Sinclair until 2013. He then joined the group of Professor Matthew J. Rosseinsky FRS as a PDRA at the Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool. In 2014 he was awarded a Nottingham Research Fellowship and started his independent academic career at the University of Nottingham.

Dr Ming Li is part of the Advanced Materials Research Group.

Expertise Summary

Impedance Spectroscopy

Solid state chemistry


Oxide ion conductors and mixed ionic/electronic conductors

Ferroelectric/piezoelectric and microwave dielectric materials

Research Summary

Ming is interested in studying a wide range of energy/electronic materials, ranging from oxide ion conductors and mixed ionic/electronic conductors for applications in solid oxide fuel cells to… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

Ming is interested in studying a wide range of energy/electronic materials, ranging from oxide ion conductors and mixed ionic/electronic conductors for applications in solid oxide fuel cells to insulating dielectric materials (ferroelectrics, piezoelectrics and microwave dielectric materials) used as components in modern electronic devices.

Ming's particular expertise and the core theme underlying his research is probing the 'electrical microstructure' and defect chemistry of materials (mainly metal oxides) using various electrical characterisation techniques, particularly Impedance Spectroscopy. Metal oxides often exhibit low levels of nonstoichiometry (typically <1 at%) that is associated with impurities in raw materials, deliberate chemical doping or 'accidental' element loss/gain during sample processing. Such small compositional variations, although difficult to detect accurately by common chemical techniques, can induce significant changes in electrical conduction mechanism and conductivity as well as complex electrical inhomogeneity in a sample. Ming's specialised in separating contributions to conductivity and permittivity from different regions (grains, grain boundaries, sample-electrode non-ohmic interfaces, surface layers, etc.) and identifying the nature of charge carriers (electrons, holes, ions, etc.) using Impedance Spectroscopy.

His approach and expertise allow for deep understanding of composition-structure-property relationships in metal oxides, which is crucial to design new materials as well as improve the performance of current materials. For example, a completely new family of oxide ion conductors have been recently discovered through studying the electrical conduction mechanisms in a perovskite oxide piezoelectric material Na1/2Bi1/2TiO3 (Nat. Mater., 13, 31 2014). His approach has also been successfully used to clarify the origins of the high permittivity observed in some transition metal oxides (such as CaCu3Ti4O12) and factors influencing the microwave dielectric loss.

Future Research

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates from Home, EU and international countries who are interested in the following research areas: Electroceramics, Impedance Spectroscopy, Solid State Chemistry, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Oxygen Separation Membranes, Ionic conductors, Mixed Ionic-Electronic Conductors, Ferro- and Piezo-electrics, Ceramic Capacitors.

Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 14081