Lauren Marbella


808 S.W. Mudd

Tel(212) 854-2213

Lauren Marbella’s research group focuses on understanding the relationship between electrochemical performance and interfacial chemistry in devices for energy storage and conversion. These insights guide the design of next generation clean technologies that accelerate the transition to “electrify everything” and enable renewable energy. 

Research Interests

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

Her research relies heavily on the use of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy to evaluate changes in material properties in real time to elucidate the chemical mechanisms underpinning degradation in Li and beyond Li-ion battery systems. Her group has constructed detailed imagery of interfacial ion dynamics in batteries, discovered novel mechanisms of electrolyte decomposition, and developed advanced operando techniques to characterize commercial batteries during use. Marbella’s research has received numerous awards including the Cottrell Scholar Award (2022), the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2021), and the Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award for Advanced Energy Storage (Sloan Foundation, 2019).

She received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016, under the direction of Prof. Jill Millstone. In 2017, she was named a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the group of Prof. Clare Grey. There, she was also named the Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellow, which recognizes the top junior fellow at Darwin College at the University of Cambridge. She joined the chemical engineering faculty at Columbia University in 2018.



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


  • Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2023-present
  • 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)


  • Cottrell Scholar Award (2022)
  • 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)


Hestenes, J. C.; Sadowski, J. T.; May, R.; Marbella, L. E.* “Transition metal dissolution mechanisms and impacts on electronic conductivity in composite LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 cathode films” ACS Materials Au 2022, Article ASAP.
Ells, A. W.; Evans, M.; Groh, M.; Morris, A. J.*; Marbella, L. E.* “Phase transformations and phase segregation during potassiation of SnxPy anodes” Chemistry of Materials 2022, 34, 7460.
Hestenes, J. C.; May, R.; Sadowski, J.; Munich, N.; Marbella, L. E.* “Resolving chemical and spatial heterogeneities at complex electrochemical interfaces in Li ion batteries” Chemistry of Materials 2022, 34, 232.
Ells, A. W.; May, R.; Marbella, L. E.* “Potassium fluoride and carbonate lead to cell failure in potassium-ion batteries” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2021, 13, 53841.
Chang, W.‡; May, R.‡; Wang, M.; Thorsteinsson, G.; Sakamoto, J.; Marbella, L. E.*; Steingart, D.* “Evolving contact mechanics and microstructure formation dynamics of the Li metal-LLZO interface” Nature Communications 2021, 12, 6369.
May, R.; Fritzsching, K. J.; 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. R.; 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.
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.