College of Science and Health > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Richard Niedziela

Richard F. Niedziela

  • Associate Professor, Physical Chemistry / Associate Dean for Administration, The College of Science and Health
  • ​PhD​
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • (773) 325-7307
  • ​McGowan South, Room 100D       

Classes Taught
  • CHE102 (Atoms and Molecules)
  • CHE130 (General Chemistry I)
  • CHE131 (General Chemistry I Laboratory)
  • CHE132 (General Chemistry II)
  • CHE133 (General Chemistry II Laboratory)
  • CHE134 (General Chemistry III)
  • CHE135 (General Chemistry III Laboratory)
  • CHE192 (Mathematical Methods of Chemistry)
  • CHE261 (Instrumental Analysis)
  • CHE264 (Atmospheric Chemistry)
  • CHE265 (Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory)
  • CHE302 (Quantum Chemistry)
  • CHE303 (Experimental Physical Chemistry I)
  • CHE304 (Thermochemistry)
  • CHE305 (Experimental Physical Chemistry II)
  • CHE306 (Kinetics and Statistical Mechanics)
  • CHE307 (Experimental Physical Chemistry III)
  • CHE330 (Senior Capstone: Art and Science)
  • CHE490 (Statistical Analysis of Data)
  • LSP111 (Explore Chicago: Transportation in Chicago)
  • LSP120 (Quantitative Reasoning)
Research Interests
Richard Niedziela's research focuses on the optical properties of organic molecules with an emphasis on those compounds that are present in the lower troposphere.  One part of his research program involves the retrieval of optical constants, or complex refractive indices, of organic materials.  These frequency-dependent quantities, when coupled with an appropriate optical model, can be used to determine the extent to which light is either absorbed by the material or refracted by it.
Another part of Niedziela's research program utilizes the optical constants mentioned above to develop analytical techniques to measure physical properties of organic-containing aerosols.  Such particles are prevalent in the lower troposphere, particularly in urban ares.  As such, these particles can have a significant local impact on air quality and visibility.  Spectroscopic techniques can be used on an ensemble of organic-containing aerosols to determine, amongst other things, their size distribution, shape, and phase.  All of these physical parameters are important inputs to efforts to model chemistry in the lower regions of the atmosphere.
Select Publications

Mid-infrared complex refractive indices for oleic acid and optical properties of model oleic acid/water aerosols, S.M. McGinty, M.K. Kapala, and R.F. Niedziela,Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 11, 7998, (2009). DOI: 10.1039/b905371a

Electron-Atom Superelastic Scattering in Magnesium at Millielectron Volt Energies, T. Baynard, A.C. Reber, R.F. Niedziela, S.A. Darveau, B. Prutzman, and R.S. Berry,Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 111(49), 12487, (2007). DOI: 10.1021/jp075583e

Infrared Optical Constants for Carvone from the Mie Inversion of Aerosol Extinction Spectra, M.T. Dohm, A.M. Potscavage, and R.F. Niedziela, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 108(25), 5365, (2004). DOI: 10.1021/jp0365559

Infrared Complex Refractive Indices for Nopinone, M.T. Dohm and R.F. Niedziela,Geophysical Research Letters, 31, L14109, (2004). DOI: 10.1029/2004GL019737

Professional Activities
  • Chemistry Advising Committee
  • Chemistry Curriculum Committee
  • General Chemistry Committee
  • CSH Assessment Committee
  • CSH Advising Committee
  • CSH Curriculum Committee
  • CSH Teaching and Learning Committee
  • Associate Deans Council
  • Reviewer for several journals (Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics)
Professional Society Memberships
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Geophysical Society​