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.



  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow and Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2016-2018


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


  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • American Physical Society (APS)


  • New Voices in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018
  • Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellowship, Darwin College, 2017
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2016
  • Pittsburgh Quantum Institute Graduate Fellowship, 2015
  • US Delegate of the 65th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates, 2015
  • Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship, 2014
  • Eastern Analytical Symposium Graduate Student Research Award, 2014



  • Griffith, K. J.; Wiaderek, K. M.; Cibin, G.; Marbella, L. E.; Grey, C. P. “Niobium tungsten oxides for high-rate lithium-ion energy storage” Nature, 2018, 559, 556.
  • Marbella, L. E.; Evans, M. L.; Groh, M. F.; Nelson, J.; Griffith, K. J.; Morris, A. J.; Grey, C. P. “Sodiation and desodiation via helical phosphorus intermediates in high capacity phosphorus anodes for sodium-ion batteries” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2018, 140, 7794.
  • Jin, Y.; Kneusels, N.-J. H.; Magusin, P. C. M. M.; Kim, G.; Castillo-Martinez, E.; Marbella, L. E.; Kerber, R. N.; Howe, D.; Paul, S.; Liu, T.; Wright, D.; Grey, C. P. “Identifying the structural basis for the increased stability of the solid electrolyte interphase formed on silicon with the additive fluoroethylene carbonate” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017, 139, 14992.
  • Marbella, L. E.‡; Gan, X. Y.‡; Kaseman, D. C.; Millstone, J. E. “Correlating carrier density and emergent plasmonic features in Cu2-xSe nanoparticles” Nano Letters, 2017, 17, 2414. (‡equal contribution)
  • Marbella, L. E.; Crawford, S. E.; Hartmann, M. J.; Millstone, J. E. “Observation of uniform ligand environments and 31P-197Au coupling in phosphine-terminated Au nanoparticles” Chemical Communications, 2016, 52, 9020.
  • Marbella, L. E.; Chevrier, D. M.; Tancini, P. D.; Shobayo, O.; Smith, A. M.; Johnston, K. A.; Andolina, C. M.; Zhang, P.; Mpourmpakis, G.; Millstone, J. E. “Description and role of bimetallic prenucleation species in the formation of small nanoparticle alloys” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2015, 137, 15852.
  • Marbella, L. E.; Millstone, J. E. “NMR techniques for noble metal nanoparticles” Chemistry of Materials, 2015, 27, 2721. (ACS Editors’ Choice, Cover Article)
  • Marbella, L. E.; Andolina, C. M.; Smith, A. M.; Hartmann, M. J.; Dewar, A. C.; Johnston, K. A.; Daly, O. H.; Millstone, J. E. “Gold-cobalt nanoparticle alloys exhibiting tunable compositions, near-infrared emission, and high T2 relaxivity” Advanced Functional Materials, 2014, 24, 6532.
  • Straney, P. J.; Marbella, L. E.; Andolina, C. M.; Nuhfer, N. T.; Millstone, J. E. “Decoupling mechanisms of platinum deposition on colloidal nanoparticle substrates” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014, 136, 7873.
  • Marbella, L. E.; Cho, H. S.; Spence, M. M. “Observing the translocation of mitochondria-penetrating peptides with solid-state NMR” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Biomembranes, 2013, 1828, 1674.