As eagle-eyed readers of will already have seen, we recently announced the formation of the Elsevier Materials Science Council. But if not, I’ll take a brief moment to provide some extra background information, courtesy of Cordelia Sealy's recent Materials Today article on the Council (alternatively you can take a look at ‘Over the next three years, the Council will undertake a raft of activities with Elsevier to help support the research community in three ways: supporting the sharing and communication of scientific information and data through new technology platforms and pathways; helping researchers communicate the importance of materials science to the general public; and rewarding researchers, particularly those working in difficult conditions or in countries with limited infrastructure.’

With the three actions listed above fitting so well with the aims of Materials Today, I’m delighted that we will be able to help support this initiative. This includes the Council's first activity, recently announced on the production of a new lecture series highlighting the impact materials science has on our everyday lives. Aimed at the general public, it is hoped that the Materials in Society lectures will help address the second of the Council's goals, and raise the profile of materials science – to find out more and suggest topics and presenters for the lectures, visit But Materials Today will also provide a channel for the community to reach back to the Council, and so if you do have any comments or ideas related to the three activities (or indeed anything else you would like to put to the Council), do let us know by getting in touch in the usual way.

And with the spirit of ‘the sharing and communication of scientific information’ in mind, let's move on to this issue of the Materials Today journal. To begin, Martin Jourdan discusses challenges in spintronics and new hopes for the application of Heusler materials in this issues’ Comment article on the Revival of Heusler compounds for spintronics.

On to the research articles, Hongxing Xu and Hong Wei look at Plasmonics in composite nanostructures, reviewing recent advances in metal-metal, metal-dielectric, and metal-semiconductor composite nanostructures. Next, Charlotte A.E. Hauser and Wei Yang Seow review Short to ultrashort peptide hydrogels for biomedical uses, looking at design principles and medical applications. Olle Inganäs and colleagues focus on Light trapping in thin film organic solar cells, considering the geometric engineering of the structure of the solar cell at the micro and nanoscale, among other aspects. Niklas Hedin and Chao Xu discuss more applications of organic materials in Microporous adsorbents for CO2capture – a case for microporous polymers? Here, the authors look at the potential of these dew materials for carbon capture and storage. Sticking with porous polymers, Ulrich Tallarek et al. discuss Finite-size effects in the 3D reconstruction and morphological analysis of porous polymers, covering their work on the large-volume reconstruction and analysis of a polymeric monolith using serial block face scanning electron microscopy.

As usual we start and finish the issue with a winning image from our cover competition: this issue features Nanowire random networks, as described by Sang Ouk Kim in this issues’ Uncovered article.

And so, as always, enjoy this issue of Materials Today.

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2014.09.002