Jay A Switzer is the Donald L Castleman Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri–Rolla (UMR). He is also a senior investigator in the Materials Research Center at UMR.
Switzer’s training in chemistry began in his early teens, when he produced pyrotechnics in his basement laboratory in Cincinnati. He received his B S in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1973, and his Ph D in inorganic chemistry from Wayne State University in 1979. His Ph D work with Professor John F Endicott was on the kinetics and mechanisms of electron transfer reactions.
Professor Switzer fell in love with electrochemistry in graduate school, and has spent most of his career finding excuses to use electrochemistry in his research. After receiving his Ph D, he joined Union Oil Company of California (UNOCAL) as a Senior Research Chemist. His research at UNOCAL was on photoelectrochemistry and the electrochemical processing of photovoltaic cells. In 1986, Dr Switzer joined the Materials Science and Engineering Department of the University of Pittsburgh as an Associate Professor. In 1990, he moved to UMR as a Professor of Chemistry. Switzer became a Curators’ Professor of Chemistry in 1994 and was appointed the Donald L Castleman Professor in 1999.
Switzer has pioneered the electrodeposition of nanostructured metal oxide semiconductors, magnetic materials, and catalysts. The goal behind this work is not to imitate vapor deposition, but to exploit the wet aspects of electrodeposition to produce epitaxial architectures which may not be accessible to UHV methods. He is best known for his research on the electrodeposition of ceramic superlattices1, epitaxial films2, and chiral catalysts3. Current research thrusts in the Switzer group include chiral electrochemical sensors, epitaxial electrodeposition of metal oxides, spintronics, and electrochemical biomineralization.
He has served on the editorial board of Chemistry of Materials and is presently a Principal Editor of the Journal of Materials Research. Professor Switzer received the Electrodeposition Award from The Electrochemical Society in 2003, and served as the chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Electrode Position in 2006.
- Science, 247, 444 (1990).
- Science, 284, 293 (1999).
- Nature, 425, 490 (2003).