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Contact Information

Email: Click to Mail

Phone: (805) 893-8407

Fax: (805) 893-7870

Office Location: 1200 Building 570

Address: Rm 1200-Bldg 570
Mail Code 5080
Chemical Engineering Dept.
University of California
Santa Barbara,
CA 93106-5080 USA

Lab Phone: (805) 893-8353

Assistant Information

Name: Nancy Emerson

Email: Click to Mail

Phone: (805) 893-8407

Fax: (805) 893-7870

Web Pages


Research Group Home Page

Course Pages

ChE 102 & 202: Biomaterials and Biosurfaces

ChE/Mats 222A: Colloids and Interfaces

ChE 110A: Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

ChE 180: Chemical Engineering Lab

ChE 121 Biomolecules and Biocolloids

Education & Honors

BS: BA degree: University of Cambridge (England, UK), Christ's College

PhD: Surface Physics Department, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. Thesis title: "Surface Forces"

Honors: 1988 FRS (Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London).
1991 Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research: AICHE.
1996 NAE (Elected Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering).
2004 NAS (Elected to the US National Academy of Science in the area of Engineering Science).
2004 MRS Medal, awarded for recent work on adhesion and friction.
2012 AAAS (Elected Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science).


Israelachvili's research interests are in the general area of intermolecular and intersurface forces in complex fluid, biological and materials systems. He uses the Surface Forces Apparatus and other techniques for directly measuring the forces between surfaces in liquids and vapors, and for studying other interfacial and thin film phenomena at the molecular level. Specific projects currently include: non-equilibrium interactions (e.g., adhesion and friction), and developing new experimental techniques.

  • Surfaces & thin films
  • Adhesion & bioadhesion
  • Molecular & hydrodynamic forces


Online Publication List

Early publications
Theory of Self-Assembly of Hydrocarbon Amphiphiles into Micelles and Bilayers,, J. N. Israelachvili, D. J. Mitchell, B. W. Ninham, J. Chem. Soc., Faraday Trans. II 72 (1976) 1525-1568.

Measurement of Forces Between Two Mica Surfaces in Aqueous Electrolyte Solutions in the Range 0-100 nm, J. N. Israelachvili, G. E. Adams, J. Chem. Soc., Faraday Trans. I 74 (1978) 975-1001.

Direct Measurement of Structural Forces Between Two Surfaces in a Non-Polar Liquid, R. G. Horn, J. N. Israelachvili, J. Chem. Phys. 75 (1981) 1400-1411.

The Hydrophobic Interaction is Long Range, Decaying, Exponentially with Distance. J. N. Israelachvili, R. M. Pashley, Nature 300 (1982) 341-342.

Intermolecular and Surface Forces (book).
J. N. Israelachvili, Academic Press: London, First ed. (1985), Second ed. (1991).

Direct Measurements of Forces Between Phosphatidylcholine and Phosphatidylethanolamine Bilayers in Aqueous Electrolyte Solutions.
J. Marra, J. N. Israelachvili, Biochemistry 24 (1985) 4608-4618.

Role of Hydrophobic Forces in Bilayer Adhesion and Fusion.
C. A. Helm, J. N. Israelachvili, P. M. McGuiggan, Biochemistry 31 (1992) 17941805.

Long-range attraction and molecular rearrangements in receptor-ligand interactions.
D.E. Leckband, F-J. Schmitt, W. Knoll, J. Israelachvili, Science 255 (1992) 14191421.

Recent publications
Impact of polymer tether length on multiple ligand-receptor bond formation.
Claus Jeppesen, Joyce Y. Wong, Tonya L. Kuhl, Jacob N. Israelachvili, Nasreen Mullah, Samuel Zalipsky, Carlos M. Marques. Science 293 (2001) 465-468.

Intermolecular forces in biology. Deborah Leckband, Jacob Israelachvili, Quart. Revs. Biophys. 34 (2) (2001) 105-267.

Fundamental studies of crude oil-surface-water interactions and its relationship to reservoir wettability. C. Drummond, J. Israelachvili. J. Petroleum Science & Engineering (JPSE) 45 (2004) 61-81.

Frictional forces and Amontons Law: from the molecular to the macroscopic scale.
Jianping Gao, W. D. Luedtke, D. Gourdon, M. Ruths, J. Israelachvili, U. Landman.
J. Chem. Phys. 108 (2004) 3410-3425. (Feature Article).

Effects of Sub-angstrom (pico-scale) structure of surfaces on adhesion, friction, and bulk mechanical properties. Jacob Israelachvili, Nobuo Maeda, Kenneth J. Rosenberg and Mustafa Akbulut. J. Mater. Res. (2005) 20, No. 8, 1952-1972.