Welcome to another issue, and indeed a new volume, of Materials Today – and of course happy new year to all.

2013 saw some exciting changes and innovations for Materials Today. It's now been a full year since we unveiled a new look to the journal, as now produced by our in-house production team; we launched a new website towards the end of 2013 which I hope many of you have already found to be much more intuitive to navigate and use; and of course 2013 saw the launch of a new sister journal in the form of Materials Today: Proceedings. Regarding Materials Today: Proceedings, I would like to thank you for sending in some excellent proposals for conferences that you’re organizing over the coming years – which we expect to start publishing shortly. It's very encouraging to see that the flexibility and potential of the journal is proving popular with the community: if you are interested in publishing proceedings from your conference in Materials Today: Proceedings just head to www.materialstoday.com/proceedings to download the proposal form.

Looking to the future, the next 12 months also promises to be an exciting time. The Materials Today: Asia conference is scheduled towards the end of the year, and we hope to be adding to the journal family with some new outlets for research. If you haven’t already done so, remember to sign up to the Materials Today community at www.materialstoday.com/sign-up to be kept up to date with all our developments.

And so to kick off the first issue of Materials Today for 2014, Jeremy Good considers the long-term problems associated with low temperature experiments for materials scientists. In the first reviews of the year we begin with a look at progress in energy research. Tao Xu and Luping Yu discuss the design of low bandgap polymers for highly efficient organic solar cells, highlighting recent progress in polymer/fullerene systems and summarizing synthetic principles for the creation of polymers with desired properties. Continuing with solar energy, Subodh Mhaisalkar and colleagues examine current progress and future perspectives for organic/inorganic perovskite solar cells: distilling the current state-of-the-art and looking to the future of commercially viable technology. Next, Nobuyuki Imanishi and Osamu Yamamoto review the status of rechargeable lithium-air batteries, as well as prospects for the future; systems that are receiving growing attention, not least for their potential as power sources for electric vehicles. Our final review goes in a different, but no less topical direction, as Anirudha Sumant and co-workers discuss graphene in the context of an emerging lubricant, providing a survey of recent tribological studies based on graphene from the nano- to macro-scale. And of course to start and close the issue is our Uncovered feature, as Peter Newman et al. explore three-dimensional bone scaffolds.

Until next time enjoy this issue of Materials Today.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2014.01.001