Lauren Marbella


808 S.W. Mudd

Tel(212) 854-2213

Lauren Marbella bridges the gap between material design and characterization to create functional platforms for a wide range of energy-related materials, including batteries, catalysts, and optics. Her work integrates concepts from engineering, chemistry, and biology to generate new materials and monitor these innovations in real time within devices.

Research Interests

Electrochemical engineering, batteries, nanoparticles, heterogeneous catalysts, surface science, interfacial phenomena, energy storage, energy conversion.

Specifically, Marbella is interested in developing new approaches to characterize amorphous/disordered phases, interfacial phenomena, and dynamic processes using in situ/operando NMR/MRI. NMR and MRI offer a molecular-level description of the structure and motion in complex systems, such as battery electrodes, flexible electronics, and smart glass. Uniquely, NMR/MRI measurements can be performed as the device is operating, allowing the correlation between atomic-scale processes and macroscopic performance output. These new insights provide the basis to reimagine and achieve new technologies for fields ranging from energy storage to chemical production – for example, the development of safe, high energy density wearables as well as the improvement of selectivity in heterogeneous catalysts.

Marbella received a BS in biochemistry from Duquesne University in 2009 and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 under the direction of Prof. Jill Millstone. She was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow and the Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Clare Grey, FRS, at the University of Cambridge from 2016-2018. In July 2018, she joined the Chemical Engineering faculty at Columbia University.



  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2016-2018
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh (2016)


  • Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2018-present


  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • American Physical Society (APS)
  • Electrochemical Society (ECS)


  • NSF CAREER Award (2021)
  • Charles Hatchett Award (2019)
  • Scialog Fellowship for Advanced Energy Storage (2018-2019)
  • Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellowship (2017)
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017)
  • Pittsburgh Quantum Institute Graduation Fellowship (2015)
  • US Delegate of the 65th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates (2015)
  • Experimental NMR Conference Student Travel Award (2015)
  • Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship (2014)
  • Eastern Analytical Symposium Graduate Student Award (2014)


  • May, R.; Fritzsching, K.; Livitz, D.; Denny, S. R.; Marbella, L. E. “Rapid interfacial exchange of Li ions dictates high Coulombic efficiency in Li metal batteries” ACS Energy Letters, 2021, 6, 1162.
  • May, R.; Zhang, Y.; Denny, S.; Viswanathan, V.; Marbella, L. E. “Leveraging Cation Identity to Engineer Solid Electrolyte Interphases for Rechargeable Lithium Metal Anodes” Cell Reports Physical Science, 2020, 1, 100239.
  • Peurifoy, S. R.; Xu, Q.; May, R.; Gadjieva, N. A.; Sisto, T. J.; Jin, Z.; Marbella, L. E.; Nuckolls, C. “Air-stable, long-length, solution-based graphene nanoribbons” Chemical Science, 2020, 11, 9978.
  • Thenuwara, A. C.; Shetty, P. P.; Kondekar, N. P.; Sandoval, S. E.; Cavallaro, K.; May, R.; Yang, C.-T.; Marbella, L. E.; Qi, Y.; McDowell, M. T. “Efficient low temperature cycling of lithium metal anodes by tailoring the solid electrolyte interphase” ACS Energy Letters, 2020, 5, 2411.
  • Hestenes, J. C.; Ells, A. W.; Navarro Goldaraz, M.; Sergeyev, I.; Itin, B.; Marbella, L. E. “Reversible deposition and stripping of the cathode electrolyte interphase on Li2RuO3” Frontiers in Chemistry, 2020, 8, 681. Invited issue: Women in Science
  • Hatzell, K. B.; Chen, X. C.; Cobb, C. L.; Dasgupta, N. P.; Dixit, M. B.; Marbella, L. E.; McDowell, M.; Mukherjee, P. P.; Viswanathan, V.; Westover, A. S.; Zeier, W. G. “Challenges in lithium metal anodes for solid-state batteries” ACS Energy Letters, 2020, 5, 922.