Dr David C. Green

Dr David C. Green


I was born in Winchester, UK in 1987, and grew up in Andover, Hampshire. After school in Salisbury and college in Northwich, I completed by MSc at the University of Bristol in 2009. I stayed on for my PhD studies with Professor Stephen Mann and Dr. Simon Hall, examining a range of functional materials and systems; from cell-free protein synthesis to superconductors. In 2013, I completed my PhD and moved to Leeds to continue my research in Bioinspired Materials Chemistry with Professor Fiona Meldrum.

Research interests

My research involves the preparation and characterisation of bio-inspired inorganic-organic composites. Biominerals, or, for example, the materials found in shells, teeth and bones, are fantastic examples of the delicate interplay of organic and inorganic components in mixed composition materials leading to functionally (and visually stunning) shape and structure. By interacting with a growing crystal surface, organic molecules such as proteins and carbohydrates can modify the overall shape of the inorganic crystalline mineral. Also, through this interaction, the organic material can incorporate into the undisrupted crystalline lattice. Othewise, the organic component can remain outside the crystalline phase as an associated gel-like matrix. In both of these cases, the shape and the structure of these composites leads to enhanced physical properties such as hardness and flexibility.

In the Meldrum Group, we take biominerals as inspiration for the development of new composite materials, or as a starting point for studying the exact cause of shape modification and enhanced properties. My research includes:

1. Developing a high-throughput protocol for studying additive incorporation across a wide parameter space (i.e. concentration, supersaturation, pH, additive functionality etc.). This has been used for the study of amino acid incorporation, and the influence of amino acids on shape and growth kinetics; competitive incorporation between an inorganic additive (magnesium) and an organic additive (aspartic acid); and the link between the influence of the additive on shape and its ability to incorporate. 

2. Incorporation of fluorescent and coloured dye molecules to develop new luminescent material, and to use luminescent and phosphorescent dyes as probes to study the internal environment of host crystals. It is found that the photophysics of incorporated dyes changes depending on the host chemistry and the distribution of the dye within the host crystal. 

3. Incorporation of amorphous nanoparticles in a host phase for drug delivery or storage applications.

Professional memberships

  • The British Association of Crystal Growth