Veronica Vaida

Office: Ekeley 145F
Lab: Ekeley M2B50
Lab Phone: 303 492 1422
Fax:303 492 5894


Ph.D.: Yale University, 1977

Areas of Expertise

Environmental Chemistry, Aerosols & Clouds, Trace Gases & Radicals, Renewable Energy, Atmospheric/Astrochemistry

Awards and Honors

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer 2007-2008
  • American Physical Society (APS)  Fellow  since 2004
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow since 2004
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow 2004-2005
  • Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard Fellow 2004-2005
  • Erskine Fellowship, University of Canterbury, New Zealand 1994
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar 1984
  • A. P. Sloan Fellowship 1980
  • Xerox Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University 1977-1979

Professor Vaida’s research interests are at the interface of physical chemistry and atmospheric science. In the Earth’s atmosphere, rapid oxidation of biogenic and anthropogenic emissions produces oxidized organic (acids, alcohols) and inorganic compounds.These hydrophilic molecules hydrogen bond readily to water forming complexes (hydrates) and aggregates, which are key ingredients in aerosol formation and subsequent cloud nucleation. Aerosols are ubiquitous in the atmosphere where they strongly influence climate by scattering and absorbing solar and thermal radiation. Professor Vaida’s experimental program investigates the spectroscopy and photoreaction dynamics of atmospheric molecules, their complexes and films at the water-air interface. Of interest is the environmental impact of sunlight-initiated chemistry. Sunlight initiated reactions of water complexes, aerosols and at the water-air interface are used to illustrate the fundamental chemistry driving the reactivity of the atmosphere and determining the temperature of the planet. Under study are light initiated chemical reactions relevant in the atmosphere of both the contemporary and prebiotic Earth. A new direction of this research is the application of photochemistry to synthesize high-energy compounds from readily available atmospheric targets.

"Dynamics of vibrational overtone excited pyruvic acid in the gas phase: Line broadening through hydrogen-atom chattering." K. Takahashi, K. L. Plath, R. T. Skodje and V. Vaida Journal of Phsical Chemistry A112(32), 7321-7331 (2008).

"Sunlight-initiated photochemistry: Excited vibrational states of atmospheric chromophores." V. Vaida, K. J. Feierabend, N. Rontu and K. Takahashi International Journal of Photoenergy, Art. No. 138091 (2008).

"Calculated electronic transitions of the water ammonia complex." J. R. Lane, V. Vaida and H. G. Kjaergaard Journal of Chemical Physics128(3), Art. No. 034302 (2008).

"Vibrational Specroscopy of Perfluorocarboxylic Acids from the Infrared to the Visible Regions" N. Rontu and V. Vaida Journal or Physical Chemistry B, 112(2), 276-282 (2008).

"Surface Partitioning and Stability of Pure and Mixed Films of 8-2 Fluorotelomer Alcohol at the Air-Water Interface" N. Rontu and V. Vaida Journal of Physical Chemistry C111(31), 11612-11618 (2007).

"Photodissociation Yields for Vibrationally Excited States of Sulfuric Acid Under Atmosperic Conditions" Y. Miller, R. B. Gerber and V. Vaida Geophysical Research Letters34(16), Art. No. L16820, (2007).

"Vibrational Overtone Induced Elimination Reactions within Hydrogen-Bonded Molecular Clusters: The Dynamics of water catalyzed reactions in CH2FOH.(H2O)" K. Takahashi, Z. C. Kramer, V. Vaida and R. T. Skodje Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 9(29), 3864-3871 (2007).

"Miscibility of Perfluorododecanoic Acid with Organic Acids at the Air-Water Interfce" N. Rontu and V. Vaida Journal of Physical Chemistry C111(27), 9975-9980 (2007).

"Overtone Spectroscopy of Sulfonic Acid Derivatives" J. R. Lane, H. G. Kjaergaard, K. L. Plath and V. Vaida Journal of Physical Chemistry A111(25), 5434-5440 (2007).

"Interfacial properties of mixed films of long-chain organics at the air-water interface" J. B. Gilman, H. Tervahattu, and V. Vaida Atmospheric Environment, 40(34), 6606-6614 (2006).

"Molecular complexes in close and far away" W. Klemperer and V. Vaida Proceddings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(28), 10584-10588 (2006).

"Permeability ofacetic acid through organic films ast the air-aqueous inerface" J. B. Gilman and V. Vaida Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 110(24), 7581-7587 (2006).

"Vibrational spectroscopy of perfluoropropionic acid in the region between 1000-11000 cm-1" N. Rontu, V. Vaida Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy, 237(1), 19-26 (2006).

"Experimental and theoretical investigation of vibrational overtones of glycolic acid and its hydrogen bonding interactions with water" D. K. Havey, K. J. Feierabend, K. Takahashi, R. T. Skodje and V. Vaida Journal of Physical Chemistry A,110(20), 6439-6446 (2006).

“The influence of organic films at the air-aqueous boundary on atmospheric processes” D. J. Donaldson, V. Vaida  Chem. Rev. 106 (4): 1445-1461 (2006)

“Sunlight initiated atmospheric photochemical reactions” V. Vaida   Int. J.Photoenergy 7, 61-70 (2005)

“Oxidation of organic films relevant to atmospheric aerosols”  T.L. Eliason, J.B. Gilman and V. Vaida  Atmos. Environ 38(9) 1367-1378 (2004)

“Photolysis of sulfuric acid vapor by visible solar radiation” V. Vaida, D. J. Donaldson, H. G. Kjaergaard, P. E. Hintze Science 299, 1566-1568 (2003)

“Hydrated complexes: relevance to atmospheric chemistry and climate”   V. Vaida, H. G. Kjaergaard, and K. J. Feierabend      Int. Reviews in Physical Chemistry 22, 203-219 (2003)

“ Atmospheric photochemistry via vibrational overtone absorption”  D. J. Donaldson, A. F. Tuck and V. Vaida     Chem. Rev. 103, 4717-4729, (2003)

“The atmospheric absorption of near infrared and visible solar radiation by the hydrogen bonded water dimer ”   V. Vaida, A.F. Tuck, L.M. Goss, J.S. Daniel, and H. Kjaergaard   Q. J. Roy. Met. Soc127, 1627-1643 (2001)

“Physicochemical Properties of Hydrated Complexes in the Earth’s Atmosphere” V. Vaida and J. E. Headrick  J. Phys. Chem. 104, 5401-5412 (2000)

“Atmospheric aerosols as prebiotic chemical reactors” C. M. Dobson, G. B. Ellison, A. F. Tuck and V. Vaida    PNAS 97, 11864-11868 (2000)

“ Atmospheric Processing of Organic Aerosols”  G.B. Ellison, A.F. Tuck and V. Vaida  J. Geophys. Res.  104, 11,633-11,641 (1999)

"The Photoreactivity of Chlorine Dioxide," V. Vaida and J. D. Simon, Science268, 1443-1448 (1995).

"Photoisomerisation of OClO: a Polar Ozone Depletion Mechanism?" V. Vaida, S. Solomon, E. C. Richard, E. Ruhl and A. Jefferson, Nature342, 405-408 (1989).