Last month, at the time of writing, I was able to take part in my first ACS national conference, and it was quite an experience. According to some of the literature waiting for me on my return, over 13,000 delegates took part in the meeting – and after working my way through some of the presentations and exhibit, I quite believe it. I’ve attended many small and large meetings of course, including the MRS and APS conferences, but somehow these didn’t quite prepare me for scale of the event; which was truly impressive.

But what struck me the most about the meeting was the sheer size, and I must congratulate the organizers for such a well-managed meeting.

During the meeting I enjoyed some fascinating presentations, including the packed plenary sessions by John Rogers and Emily Weiss – as well spending some time in the exhibition hall, speaking to industry representatives and supporting the Elsevier booth. And thanks to those of you that stopped by the booth, it was a great chance to catch up with you and hear your thoughts on materials chemistry and everything that's going on at Elsevier.

And while despite being an enjoyable experience, I’m glad of a short respite after the whirlwind, in which to catch-up on all things Materials Today – which brings me to this latest issue.

To start, G. Malucelli and colleagues introduce a surprising new material to the area of textile flame retardation: biomacromolecules: perhaps not the first application that springs to mind when we think of proteins and nucleic acids. Moving on to the reviews, we begin with Arden Moore and Li Shi discussing Emerging challenges and materials for thermal management of electronics and covering cubic crystals, two-dimensional layered materials, nanostructure networks and composites, molecular layers and surface functionalization, and aligned polymer structures for the application as thermal interface materials. Next Dongge Ma et al. review Hybrid white OLEDs with fluorophors and phosphors; summarizing the history and current status of hybrid WOLEDs and discussing the challenges for hybrid WOLED prospects for commercialization. Weixiang Chen and colleagues then consider Graphene-like layered metal dichalcogenide/graphene composites, with a focus on recent progress in the synthesis and applications in energy storage and conversion. Finally, Xian Jun Loh and coworkers discuss Supramolecular soft biomaterials for biomedical applications, looking at how these next generation materials and their unique properties.

And to start and close the journal, this issue's cover by Peter Nirmalraj and Heike Riel shows a high-resolution STM image of graphene adsorbed onto a surface within a liquid medium. To find out more about the material and the process of imaging while submerged in a fluid, take a look at the Uncovered feature.

And so, until next time, enjoy this issue of Materials Today.

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2014.04.022