J. Scott Niezgoda, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Specializations: Nanoscience, materials chemistry
Office: Science Center 306
Phone: 610-660-1773
Email: niezgoda@sju.edu
Website: Personal Website

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Dr. Niezgoda joined the chemistry department at St. Joe's, his alma mater, as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2017. He earned his Ph.D. in Dr. Sandra Rosenthal's lab at Vanderbilt University, where he studied the photophysics and surface chemistry of tiny crystals called "quantum dots" for application in solar cell technology. While at Vanderbilt, Dr. Niezgoda was active in community outreach to local public highschools in an effort to make college a distinct possibility for underserved youth and to spread knowledge alternative energies. Recently, he has begun to take part in similar outreach efforts at SJU with local Philadelphia public schools and community. After graduate school, Dr. Niezgoda spent 2 years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dr. Joshua Choi's lab at the University of Virginia's Department of Chemical Engineering. Here, he focused on the relatively new and extremely promising class of materials called "perovskites" in a project that was funded through a NASA grant geared to developed lightwieght, flexible, and high temperature-stable solar panels for use in space exploration. 


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Virginia, 2016
  • Ph.D. Chemistry, Vanderbilt University, 2015
  • B.S. Chemistry, Saint Joseph's University, 2010

Courses Taught


  • General Chemistry, CHM 120
  • General Chemistry Laboratory, CHM 120L

    Courses in Prep:

  • Physical Chemistry I: Kinetics and Thermodynamics
  • Physical Chemistry II: Quantum Chemistry
  • Nanochemistry


While at Saint Joseph’s:

(1) Alpert, M.R.; Niezgoda, J.S.; Chen, A.; Foley, B.; Cuthriell, S.; Yoon, L.; Choi, J.J. Colloidal Nanocrystals as a Platform for Rapid Screening of Charge Trap Passivating Molecules for Metal Halide Perovskite Thin Films. Just Submitted.

Prior to Saint Joseph’s:

(11) Niezgoda, J. S.; Foley, B. J.; Chen, A. Z.; Choi, J. J. Improved Charge Collection in Highly Efficiency CsPbBrI2 Solar Cells with Light-Induced Dealloying. ACS Energy Letters 2016, 2, 1043- 1049.

(10) Chen, A.Z.; Foley, B. J.; Ma, J. H.; Alpert, M. R.; Niezgoda, J. S.; Choi, J.J., Crystallographic Orientation Propagation in Metal Halide Perovskite Thin Films. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2016, just accepted.

(9) Foley, B. J.; Girard, J.; Sorenson, B.; Chen, A.Z.; Niezgoda, J. S.; Alpert, M. R.; Harper, A.; Smilgies, D.M.; Clancy, P.; Saisi W.A..; Choi, J.J., Controlling Nucleation, Growth, and Orientation of CH3NH3PbI3 Perovskite Thin Films with Rationally Selected Additives. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2017, 5, 113-123.

(8) Niezgoda, J. S.; Satterwhite, S.; Rosenthal, S. J., How Research Universities Can Engage Rural and Inner City High School Students. 2017, in revision.

(7) Niezgoda, J.S.; Rosenthal, S.J., Synthetic Strategies for Semiconductor Nanoparticles Expressing Localized Surface Plasmons. ChemPhysChem 2016, 17, 645-653.

(6) Niezgoda, J.S.*; Ng, A.*; Mcbride, J. R.; Poplawsky, J.D.; Pennycook, S. J.; Rosenthal, S. J. Visualization of Current and Mapping of Elements in Quantum Dot Solar Cells. Advanced Functional Materials 2015, 26, 895-902. (*equal contribution)

(5) Gizzie, E. A.*; Niezgoda, J.S.*; Jennings, G. K.; Rosenthal, S. J.; Cliffel, D. E. Photosystem IPolyaniline/TiO2 Solid-State Solar Cells: Simple Devices for Biohybrid Solar Energy Conversion. Energy & Environmental Science 2015, 8, 3572-3576. (*equal contribution)

(4) Prasai, D.; Klots, A., Niezgoda, J. S.; Newaz, AKM; Escobar, C.; Rosenthal, S. J.; Jennings, K.; Bolotin, K. I., Electrical Control of Near-Field Energy Transfer Between Quantum Dots and TwoDimensional Semiconductors. Nano Letters 2015, 15, 4374-4380.

(3) Niezgoda, J. S.; Yap, E.; Keene, J. D.; McBride, J. R.; Rosenthal, S. J., Plasmonic CuxInyS2 Quantum Dots Make Better Photovoltaics Than Their non-Plasmonic Counterparts. Nano Letters 2014, 14, 3262-3269.

(2) Piotrowski, M.; Forman, M.; Blithe, C.; Dougher, A.; Millet, C.; Montemareno, M.; Niezoda, J. S.; Rao, U., Industrial and Agricultural Pollutants in the Susquehanna Watershed of Pennsylvania. Abstracts of Papers of American Chemical Society 2013, 245, 632.

(1) Niezgoda, J. S.; Harrison, M. A.; McBride, J. R.; Rosenthal, S. J., Novel Synthesis of Chalcopyrite CuxInyS2 Quantum Dots with Tunable Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances. Chemistry of Materials 2012, 24, 3294-3297.


Quantum dots are a facinating group of materials that were discovered and characterized during the burst of nanoscience that has occurred over the last couple decades. Quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals whose size is so small, we can think them as zero-dimensional. In reality, they range in diameter from less than 1 nanometer (1 billionth of a meter) to tens of nanometers, containing hundreds to thousands of atoms. Interestingly, at this tiny size scale, these crystals exhibit properties that they wouldn't at larger sizes. Nanoscientists can tune the color of light these quantum dots emit (LEDs in TVs), they can adjust the energy of light they absorb (solar cells, photocatalysis), and they can use them as fluorescent markers for linking and tracking or delivering other chemicals (cell protien tracking, drug delivery).

Dr. Niezgoda's current research at SJU focuses on the chemical tailoring of surface bound molecules, or "ligands", on quantum dots. Specfically, the Niezgoda lab is interested in using known and polished quantum dot synthetic methods as scaffolds upon which to introduce previously unused chemicals onto their surface. These new chemicals can open myriad new optoelectronic and physical properties for the crystals, such as site-guided specific linking to given protien binding sites and chemical cross-linking of different specific types of dots. Undergraduate researchers in the Niezgoda lab will gain experience in both traditional chemical synthetic methods, as well as cutting-edge techniques in nanoscience through work with a new glovebox system, Schlenk line, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies.