Wolfgang Jeitschko (1936-2020)

Wolfgang Jeitschko, passed away on August 5th, 2020, during his afternoon nap. The solid state and materials chemistry and crystallography community and especially his friend and colleagues lost an outstanding scientist, an enthusiastic teacher, and a distinguished gentleman.

Wolfgang Jeitschko, born on May 27th, 1936, in Prague, finished school in Linz, 1956, studied chemistry at the University of Vienna and graduated 1964 in the group of Hans Nowotny. Thereafter he spent two years at the University of Pennsylvania, returned as a research associate and lecturer to Vienna before he was appointed lecturer in 1967 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign followed by six years basic synthetic solid-state chemistry and crystallography in the Central Research Department of DuPont Co. In 1975 he was appointed University Professor (H3) at University of Gießen, 1979 University Professor (H4) at University of Dortmund before he finally moved in 1982 to University of Münster as Chair of Inorganic Chemistry where he retired in 2001.

Wolfgang Jeitschko had an extraordinary wide spectrum of solid-state chemistry knowledge and expertise. Starting early with his work on intermetallic carbides, he extended his interest and shaped solid-state inorganic chemistry with his work on metal-rich phosphides, arsenides and antimonides as well as polypnictides. He worked on aluminum rich and zinc rich intermetallics synthesized with various flux methods and extended the chemistry of intermetallic borides, silicide phosphides, nitrides and stannides. This wide spectrum is further extended by his investigations on halogenidoboracites, phosphorous iodides and oxides like niobates, tantalates, rhenates and ternary mercury oxides.

Wolfgang Jeitschko developed the fundamental LAZY PULVERIX program together with Klaus Yvon and Erwin Parthé. His scientific work is documented with more than 430 peer reviewed publications and regular participations on national and international conferences. He organized several Hemdsärmelkolloquien, the Solid Compounds of Transition Elements 10 conference as well as the conference of the German solid-state community in 2000. He was host for many PhD students, postdocs and scientists all over the world. He annually organized a several days group seminar and kept contact during and after his active time to active and former doctoral students, technical coworkers and their families with a yearly summer barbeque in his garden end of June. This tradition is kept by some of his PhDs in their own groups and keeps the memory to Wolfgang, his wife, group, science and educational efforts.

Text: Thorsten M. Gesing

Read also the extended obituary written by Thorsten M. GesingRobert Glaum and Rainer Pöttgen in Zeitschrift für Kristallographie – Crystalline Materials, vol. 235, no. 10, 2020, pp. 413-415 (free access until April 2022).