Attention: Pomona College is planning for a full return of students in fall. Learn More

Frederick J. Grieman

Roscoe Moss Professor of Chemistry; On leave Spring 2021
With Pomona Since: 1982
  • Expertise


    Fred Grieman is an experimental physical chemist whose current research involves the laboratory study of the kinetics (speed) and thermodynamics (energy and entropy) of radical reactions important in the Earth’s atmosphere. Through collaboration with the Sander group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Grieman (via several NASA fellowships) and his undergraduate research students use lasers to investigate the chemistry of peroxy radicals (e.g., HO2) that play an important role in tropospheric oxidation chemistry that determines the concentration of ozone, a serious pollutant. Most recent work details the reactions of HO2 with acetone (an anthropogenic and natural pollutant emitted to the atmosphere) and acetonylperoxy (a radical species produced from tropospheric acetone). Results from this research are applied to the modeling of the Earth’s atmosphere which ultimately affects policy decisions related to pollution.

    Another line of research comprises the gas-phase spectroscopy of neutral and ionic molecules, particularly transition metal compounds, via electron impact and laser excitation of free-jet expansions. Recent projects have included the discovery and analysis of vibronic spectra of dimethylzinc cation, dimethylcadmium cation, and their deuterated counterparts which adds insight to the bonding between a metal and a carbon atom.

    In addition to teaching general and physical chemistry, Grieman’s course in atmospheric chemistry includes exploration at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where students observe the latest hot topics in space exploration.

    Research Interests

    • Gas-phase spectroscopy of molecular ions and transition metal compounds via electron impact and laser excitation of free-jet expansions
    • Atmospheric Chemical Reactions, particularly peroxy radical reactions (Collaboration with Stan Sander and Mitchio Okumura)

    Areas of Expertise


    • Molecular Ion Spectroscopy
    • Free-Jet Expansion Spectroscopy
    • Laser Spectroscopy
    • Laboratory Study of Atmospheric Relevant Reactions
  • Work


    With Aaron C. Noell, Casey Davis-Van Atta, Mitchio Okumura, and Stanley P. Sander, “Determination of Equilibrium Constants for the Reaction between Acetone and HO2 Using Infrared Kinetic Spectroscopy,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 2011, 115 (38), pp 10527–10538

    With A. J. Marr and T. C. Steimle, "A Molecular Beam Optical/Stark Study of Calcium Monomethyl," J. Chem. Phys., 105, 3930, 1996

    With E. S. Fujikawa and J. C. Phillips, "Discovery and Analysis of an Electronic Spectrum of the Dimethylzinc Cation Produced in Free-jet Expansion," J. Phys. Chem., 100, 9281, 1996

    With S. H. Ashworth and J. M. Brown, "Rotational Analysis of Bands in the 460 nm System of Nickel Dichloride Produced in a Free Jet Expansion: Determination of the Structure and Electronic Ground State of Nickel Dichloride," J. Chem. Phys., 104, 48, 1996

    With Eric Fang, “Assignment of an Electronic Spectrum of Zn(CH3)2+ Via Ab Initio Calculation,” Main Group Metal Chemistry, 17, 447 (1994).

    With Stephen H. Ashworth, John M. Brown, Peter J. Jones, and Ian R. Beattie, “Structure of Nickel Dichloride,”J. of Amer. Chem. Soc., 115, 2978 (1993).

    With L. Zink, J. M. Brown, T. R. Gilson, and I. R. Beattie,“Vibrational Structure in the Laser Excitation Spectrum of Nickel Dichloride at 360 nm,” J. Mol. Spec., 146, 225 (1991).

  • Education


    University of California, Berkeley

    Master of Science
    University of California, Berkeley

    Bachelor of Arts
    University of California, Irvine

    Professional Experience

    Associate Dean of the College, 1997-2000

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Atmospheric Chemistry
    • General Chemistry w/Laboratory
    • Ind Std: Chemistry
    • Lab, General Chemistry
    • Physical Chemistry: Quantum Chemistry and Statistical Mechanics
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    NASA Senior Post-doctoral award 2014-15 to carry out laboratory research on atmospheric chemistry at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with Stan Sander ‘74

    Pomona College, Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1997, 2007 and 2012

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, summer research award to collaborate with Stanley Sander ’74 on laboratory kinetics studies of atmospheric reactions, 2009,'10,'11,'12,'13,'14

    NASA, Senior Post-Doctoral Fellowship to study atmospheric chemistry (in collaboration with Stan Sander ’74) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2008

    Roscoe Moss Professorship, 2007 - present

    American Chemical Society, Petroleum Research Fund Grants

    NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement grant, 2001-04

    National Science Foundation Grants, "Low-cost Dye Laser for Chemistry and Physics Instruction" Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Grant, "Low-cost Dye Laser for Undergraduate Instruction and Research in Chemistry and Physics"