Research Field: Chemistry
How can we best trap or detect molecules and how do molecules pack together to form materials? Dr Turner seeks to understand how molecules are attracted to each other and fit together allowing us to develop new materials for deliberately interacting with biologically or environmentally important molecules.
David explores compounds that address the important global issue of the environmental impact from increasing industrialisation. One of his aims is to build new materials by molecules as building blocks and then study the ability of these to act like a sponge for carbon dioxide. His team is developing materials that are porous and resemble scaffolding. The gas molecules are able to sit within the holes in the solid. An important aspect is to determine the 3D structure of the materials on an atomic scale. David and his team do this using high energy light from the Australian Synchrotron or neutrons from the nuclear research reactor in Sydney.
David has produced a text book currently being translated into Russian and has actively participated in the CSIRO Scientists in Schools program (hosting year 11/12 students in the laboratory) for the last five years. In three instances the student’s results have been published in respected journals.