As another year and volume of the Materials Today journal draws to a close (indeed, the fourth since I joined the publication), I’ve been looking back over what's been happening. It's been a big year for Materials Today: we’ve launched two new sister titles in the form of Materials Today Communications and Materials Today: Proceedings; the impact factor of the Materials Today journal rose to 10.850; we’ve seen the return of the Materials Today Asia conference after a seven year hiatus; and we’ve seen the launch of the Elsevier Materials Science Council and the related Materials in Society lecture series.

But it's also been a great year for content. Some of our most popular articles this year include Current progress and future perspectives for organic/inorganic perovskite solar cells by Subodh G. Mhaisalkar et al.; Nanoporous graphene materials by Wenjing Yuan, Ji Chen, Gaoquan Shi; and A brief review of atomic layer deposition: from fundamentals to applications by Richard W. Johnson, Adam Hultqvist and Stacey F. Bent. All of these articles can of course be found via and are free to read. Our webinar program has also seen some excellent presentations on materials and techniques: including Yury Gogotsi's introduction to MXenes: a new family of two-dimensional materials and Ali Khademhosseini's discussion on Engineered hydrogels for regenerative medicine applications. We’ve looked at advanced feature analysis and spectrum imaging in scanning electron microscopy, visualizing the true structure of materials using 3D EDS, and AFM-IR for materials and life science, to name just a few.

And next year is already shaping up to be another big year, in the journal and beyond, and we’ve got some big announcements coming up very soon.

But staying with 2014 for just a little longer: the last of this year's covers focuses on Mimicking dentin structure using bio-inspired scaffolds for dental tissue engineering, as discussed by Morteza Haeri and A. Jon Goldberg in their Uncovered article. In this issue's Comment, Andrew Cooper and Michael Bojdys look at how polymer chemistry and organic synthesis may have much to offer for new two-dimensional materials Carbon nitride vs. graphene – now in 2D.

On to Reviews, Shakeeb Bin Hasan, Falk Lederer and Carsten Rockstuhl look at Nonlinear plasmonic antennas and review recent advances in exploiting the potential of plasmonic antennas to realize robust nonlinear applications. Anna Balazs et al. discuss computational studies on reactive gels that reveal how to tailor the gels and external stimuli to impart this biomimetic functionality in Designing biomimetic reactive polymer gels. Next, Leonid Ionov considers Hydrogel-based actuators: possibilities and limitations, providing a brief overview of stimuli-responsive hydrogel actuators with respect to their sensitivity to different stimuli, different kinds of deformation, the possibilities of generating different types of movement, as well as their applications. Finally, Paolo Samorì and colleagues discuss Electronic characterization of supramolecular materials at the nanoscale by Conductive Atomic Force and Kelvin Probe Force microscopies.

Thank you for your support of the journal in 2014, and as always, enjoy this issue of Materials Today.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2014.11.001