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Dr. Laura Espinal

Research Interest

  • Functional materials for sustainable technologies and materials sustainability.
  • Solid state sorbents for environmental applications, e.g., carbon capture.
  • In situ structural analysis of gas separation materials via neutron and X-ray techniques.
  • Physico-chemical characterization and mechanistic evaluation of catalytic materials.
  • Rational and accelerated design of materials through an integrated computational and experimental approach.

A sorption unit for CO2 removal from flue gas (post-combustion capture).

Figure 1: Schematic representation of a sorption unit for CO2 removal from flue gas (post-combustion capture).


Publications (prior to joining NIST):

  • Espinal, A. E.; Zhang, L. C.; Chen, C. H.; Morey, A.; Nie, Y. F.; Espinal, L.; Wells, B. O.; Joesten, R.; Aindow, M.; Suib, S. L. “Nanostructured Arrays of Semiconducting Octahedral Molecular Sieves by Pulsed-Laser Deposition” Nature Materials, 2009, 9, 54-59.
  • Espinal, L.; Malinger, K. A.; Espinal, A. E.; Gaffney, A. M.; Suib, S. L. “Preparation of Multicomponent Metal Oxides Using Nozzle Spray and Microwaves” Advanced Functional Materials, 2007, 17, 2572–2579.
  • Malinger, K. A.; Ding, Y. S.; Sithambaram, S.; Espinal, L.; Gomez, S.; Suib, S. L. “Microwave Frequency Effects on Synthesis of Cryptomelane-type Manganese Oxide and Catalytic Activity of Cryptomelane Precursor” Journal of Catalysis, 2006, 239, 290-298.
Photo of Laura Espinal


NIST Associate
Ceramics Division
Functional Properties Group

Employment History:

2009 – Present: Materials Scientist, NIST
2008 – 2009: Petrophysicist, Schlumberger Carbon Services
2006 – 2007: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Schlumberger-Doll Research
2005: Intern, Schlumberger-Doll Research


Ph.D., Materials Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 2005
M.S., Materials Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 2001
B.S., Materials Engineering (Polymers), University Simón Bolívar, Sartenejas, Venezuela, 1999


Phone: 301-975-8979
Email: laura.espinal@nist.gov
Fax: 301-975-5334