Faculty Profile

Rosa M. Espinosa Marzal

Civil and Environmental Engineering
 Rosa M. Espinosa Marzal
Rosa M. Espinosa Marzal
Associate Professor
3215 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg
205 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-4380

Primary Research Area

  • Environmental Engineering and Science


  • PhD. (Engineering/Materials) Hamburg University of Technology (Germany), 2004.
  • BEng. (Mechanical Engineering) Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (Spain), 1997.

Academic Positions

  • CAS Associate, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. AY 2016-2017.
  • NCSA Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. Since 08/2014.
  • Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Civil and Environmental Engineering. Since 09/2013.
  • Senior Scientist, ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Materials Science, Surface Science and Technology. 2009-2013.
  • Research Fellow, Princeton University (USA). Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials. 2007-2009.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Hamburg University of Technology (Germany). Institute of Materials, Physics and Chemistry of Buildings. 2005-2007

For more information

Research Interests

  • Surface and Colloidal Science
  • Mechanochemistry of mineral-solution interfaces
  • Nanoconfinement of soft matter (nanostructure and nanorheological behavior).
  • Molecular mechanisms underlying soft matter lubrication, and friction and adhesion

Research Topics

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Mengwei Han and Rosa M. Espinosa-Marzal. Molecular Mechanisms underlying Lubrication by Ionic Liquids: Activated slip and flow. Lubricants (2018) 6(3) 64.
  • Mengwei Han and Rosa M. Espinosa-Marzal. Electroviscous Retardation of the Squeeze-Out of Nanoconfined Ionic Liquids. Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b04778.
  • Yun Shen, Pin Chieh Huang, Conghui Huang, Peter Sun, Guillermo Monroy, Wenjing Wu, Jie Lin, Rosa Espinosa-Marzal, Stephen Boppart, Wen-Tso Liu, and Thanh Nguyen. Effect of divalent ions and a polyphosphate on composition, structure, and stiffness of simulated drinking water biofilms. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes (2018) 4:15
  • Tooba Shoaib and Rosa M. Espinosa-Marzal. Insight into the Viscous and Adhesive Contributions to Hydrogel Friction, Tribology Letters (2018) 66(96) DOI: 10.1007/s11249-018-1045-7.
  • Yijue Diao, Rosa M. Espinosa-Marzal. About how water lubricates faults, Nature Communications (2018) 9:2309.
  • T. Shoaib, J. Heintz, J.A. Lopez-Berganza, R. Muro-Barrios, S. Egner, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Stick-slip friction reveals hydrogel lubrication mechanisms, Langmuir (2017), DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02834.
  • J.A. Lopez-Berganza, R. Song, A. Elbanna, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal, Calcium Carbonate with Nanogranular Microstructure yields Enhanced Toughness, Nanoscale (2017) 9, 16689-16699.
  • Y. Diao, M. Han, J.A. Lopez Berganza, L. Valentino, B.J. Marinas, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Reconciling DLVO and non-DLVO forces and their implications for ion rejection by a polyamide membrane, Langmuir (2017) 33(36), 8982-8992.
  • T. Shoaib, A. Carmichael, R.E. Corman, Y. Shen, H. Nguyen, R/H. Ewoldt, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Self-Adaptive Hydrogels to Mineralization, Soft Matter (2017) 13, 5469-5480.
  • Z. Zachariah, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal, Manfred Heuberger. Ion specific hydration in Nano-confined Electrical Double Layers, Journal of Colloid & Interface Science (2017) 506, 263-270.
  • M. Heuberger, Z. Zachariah, N.D. Spencer, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Collective Dehydration of Ions in Nano-Pores, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (2017) 19, 13462-13468.
  • L.A. Jurado, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Molecular Insight into the Electrical Double Layer of Graphene, Scientific Reports (2017) 7, 4225.
  • T. Shoaib, P.C. Nalam, Y. He, Y. Chen, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Assembly, morphology, diffusivity and indentation of hydrogel-supported lipid bilayers, Langmuir (2017) 33(28), 7105-7117.
  • M. Han, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Strong Stretching of Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Brushes Mediated by Ionic Liquid Solvation. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2017) 8(17), 3954-3960.
  • M.K. Singh, P. Ilg, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal, M. Kroeger, N.D. Spencer. Molecular-Dynamics Simulation of the Effect of Crosslinking on the Tribological Behavior of Polymer Brushes. Tribology Letters (2016) 63(17), 1-9.
  • M.K. Singh, P. Ilg, R,M. Espinosa-Marzal, N.D. Spencer, M. Kroeger, Influence of Chain Stiffness, Grafting Density, and Normal Load on Tribological and Structural Behavior of Polymer Brushes: a Nonequilibrium Molecular Dynamics Study. Polymers (2016) 8 (7), 254-272.
  • A. Jurado, H. Kim, A. Rossi, A, Arcifa, J.K. Schuh, N.D. Spencer, C. Leal, R.H. Ewoldt, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Effect of the environmental humidity on the bulk, interfacial and nanoconfined properties of an ionic liquid. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (2016) 18 (32), 22719-22730.
  • Z. Zachariah, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal, N.D. Spencer, M. Heuberger. Stepwise collapse of highly overlapping Electrical Double Layers. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (2016) 18, 24417-24427.
  • Y. Diao, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal, Molecular Insight into the Nanoconfined Calcite-Solution Interface. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences (2016) 113(43), 12047-12052.
  • J. Lopez-Berganza, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal. Mechanistic approach to predict the combined effects of additives and surface templates on calcium carbonate mineralization. ACS Crystal Growth&Design (2016) 16 (11), 6186-6198.
  • A. Arcifa, A., A. Rossi, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal, N.D. Spencer, Influence of Environmental Humidity on the Wear and Friction of a Silica/Silicon Tribopair Lubricated with a Hydrophilic Ionic Liquid. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2016) 8(5), 2961-2973.
  • Y. Shen, C. Huang, G.L. Monroy, D. Janjaroen, N. Derlon, J. Lin, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal, E. Morgenroth, S.A. Boppart, N.J. Ashbolt, W.-T. Liu, T.H. Nguyen, Response of Simulated Drinking Water Biofilm Mechanical and Structural Properties to Long-Term Disinfectant Exposure. Environ Sci Technol (2016) 50, 1779-1787.
  • A. Sheehan, L.A. Jurado, S.N. Ramakrishna, A. Arcifa, A. Rossi, N.D. Spencer, R.M. Espinosa-Marzal, Layering of Ionic Liquids on Rough Surfaces. Nanoscale (2016) 8, 4094-106.

Professional Societies

  • Membership Secretary for ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, elected 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  • Member of American Chemical Society since 2013


  • CEE Excellence Faculty Scholar (03/2016)
  • NCSA Fellow (08/2014)

Teaching Honors

  • Teaching Excellence (Spring 2015)

Research Honors

  • CAS Associate (01/2016)
  • DFG Early Career Support (09/2007)
  • DAAD Fellowship (10/1997)