As I write sat down this morning to write this introduction to the latest issue of the Materials Today journal, I was delighted to receive notification that the latest member of the Materials Today journal family was now available on ScienceDirect. And so, instead of my intended Editorial discussing my recent travels, it seems more fitting to welcome Applied Materials Today.

The first articles are now online, and include a new study on “heavy metal cancer spies”, designed to identify cancer cells in low concentrations of diseased tissue. The article, Synthesis of High-Quality Lanthanide Oxybromides Nanocrystals with Single-Source Precursor for Promising Applications in Cancer Cells Imaging, reports on a method to create high-quality lanthanide oxybromide nanocrystals, with tailored sizes and shapes, that allow their optical properties to be controlled. These crystals can then be used as staining agents, which are only taken up by diseased cells.

As you may have seen from the announcements on, Applied Materials Today is a new, multi-disciplinary, rapid-publication journal publishing original research articles on cutting edge applications of novel materials; Edited by Prof. Manish Chhowalla. Spanning chemistry, physics, engineering, and biology; the new journal represents a high impact outlet for all aspects of materials with an application focus, such as the study by Yaping Du and colleagues mentioned above.

But returning to this journal: As always, we begin and end the issue with our cover feature, and in (and on) this issue, Mariana Cerqueira and colleagues look at new hydrogels to address issues such as cell adhesion in Epidermis recreation in spongy-like hydrogels, In this issue's Comment article Drew Sheppard and co-workers re-visit fluorine stabilized metal hydrides for high-temperature thermal storage, in What is old is new again.

Moving on to reviews, and Joseph Rumer and Iain McCulloch begin by discussing the performance of crosslinkable polymers, fullerenes and additives used to-date, and identifying the most promising, in Organic photovoltaics: Crosslinking for optimal morphology and stability. Next, Hatice Altug and colleagues highlight key concepts in designing infrared antennas and applying them to enhance the absorption of minute quantities of biomolecules as well as new fabrication methods for their high throughput and low-cost manufacturing, in Engineering mid-infrared nanoantennas for surface enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy. Continuing with the theme of light, Huan-Tsung Chang et al. review recent advances in the synthesis and characterization of carbon dots along with their optical properties and analytical applications, in Photoluminescent carbon nanodots: synthesis, physicochemical properties and analytical applications. And in our final review of the issue, Michael Richter and colleagues describe Novel materials through nature's catalysts, by looking at the application of enzymes in the fabrication and processing of materials, with examples from the last three years.

As always, we hope you enjoy this issue of Materials Today.

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2015.09.001