I. David Brown
Department of Physics and Astronomy
David Brown came to McMaster in 1959 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of London (UK). He has spent sabbaticals in Oxford working in biocrystallography and in Cambridge at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. In 1994 he was a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam. He formally retired from McMaster University in 1996.
Dr. Brown is interested in analyzing the chemical structure of inorganic solids and liquids, and in developing the bond valence model of chemical bonding in inorganic materials. His approach has been to deduce empirical rules from an examination of a large number of known structures of inorganic solids. This has involved him in the establishment of the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database and the development of the Crystallographic Information File (CIF) as a standard for crystallography. He is still active in editorial work for Acta Crystallographica and chairs the committee of the International Union of Crystallography that is responsible for the CIF project.
Currently he is interested in the application of graph theory and topological analysis to the description of chemical bonding in polar solids and liquids. This approach allows the topological, steric and chemical influences on structure and composition to be separated and studied individually.
Techniques that have been used by Dr. Brown and his colleagues include X-ray, electron and neutron diffraction, EXAFS, and Raman and infra-red spectroscopy. Now that he is retired, he is no longer engaged in experimental work and is not taking on new students or postdoctoral fellows.