• Source: Scopus
  • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1992 …2020

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Personal profile

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23 Last checked 23 June 2020

Biography

Dr Heron joined the University of Huddersfield in August 2012 as a Principal Research Fellow.  Prior to this research focussed fellowship Dr Heron held a Senior Lectureship in Applied Organic Chemistry in the Department of Colour and Polymer Chemistry within the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds (2000 – 2012).  Research interests encompass heterocyclic chemistry applied to functional dyes including photo-, thermo-, electro- and piezo-chromism, traditional dye and pigment chemistry and fluorescence. Industrial collaborations have resulted in recent patents concerning hybrid liquid crystalline photochromic heterocyclic materials.  In addition to my interests in heterocyclic chemistry, traditional and modern synthetic chemistry transformations, polymer chemistry and organic spectroscopy have featured prominently in my research.

Preceding Leeds Dr Heron held industrially funded Lectureships at the University of Central Lancashire (1995 – 1998) and at the University of Hull (1998 – 2000). The latter appointment provided an opportunity to develop an interest in liquid crystal technology whilst maintaining a strong interest in heterocyclic chemistry and photochromism.  Research activity from this initial phase of Dr Heron’s academic career resulted in the filing of several international patent applications for photochromic molecules that have been marketed around the globe.

Dr Heron was awarded his PhD in 1992 by the Council for National Academic Awards for investigations into the synthesis and reactivity of benzothiopyrans and fused heterocyclic derivatives with external collaboration with ICI Pharmaceuticals (Alderley Edge).  In a post-doctoral fellowship in Applied Heterocyclic Chemistry (University of Central Lancashire 1991 - 1995) initial exploration of the chemistry of novel pyrroles and azoles and benzopyrans was undertaken which sowed the seeds for a longstanding relationship with heterocyclic chemistry and optical phenomena such as photochromism.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Design, synthesis and optimisation of the performance of novel responsive dye systems e.g. photo-, electro-, thermo- and piezo- chromic dyes, and their applications.
  • The synthesis and spectroscopic properties of methine, cyanine, squarane, BODIPY, naphthalimide and ruthenium based colorants.
  • Synthetic methodology related to the de-novo synthesis of heterocyclic ring systems e.g. pyrans, thiopyrans, pyridines, pyrroles and various azoles including pyrazoles, isoxazoles and their benzologues.
  • The investigation of new and alternative synthetic strategies to useful organic molecules including application of transition metal catalysis, directed metallation strategies and novel phosphorus stabilised ylides.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Synthesis
  • Polymers
  • Organic Synthesis
  • Flourescence
  • Dyes
  • Photochromism

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