Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Click on the Fingerprint icon below to learn more about the research topics, expertise and interests of this academic.

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1992 …2022

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Degree Supervision

If you are interested in studying for a PhD in this research subject area click here 

For more details about the research topics, expertise and interests of this academic, click on the fingerprint icon

Google Scholar h-Index

29 from 2,277 citations 

Last updated 27th March 2023


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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Research Expertise and Interests

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


Dive into the research topics where Mark Heron is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or