Advanced Materials 25 Years On


  • Dr. Peter Gregory

In 1988/1989 the foundations were set for the international, interdisciplinary journal you are reading today. We will be celebrating our silver jubilee in a number of ways, described below over the course of the next year, but looking back over the last 25 years it is somewhat difficult not to treat ourselves to a little nostalgia. Much has changed, and the pace of change is increasing tough, so in this article I will take a brief look back, but also describe some of the trends we see and some of the new things in store for our authors and readers.

Ten years ago Esther Levy, then Editor, described (Adv. Mater. 2003, 15, 13–18) the beginnings of the journal and its progress over the first 15 years. She also posed for a photo with the team at the time (Figure 1a).

Figure 1a.

The Advanced Materials team in 2003. Back (from left to right) Agnes Petersen (production), Joanna Bleßmann, Susanne Stoll, Melanie Schmitt (admin), Andreas Muth (web) Front: Victoria Cleave, Esther Levy, Renate Dötzer, and Karen Grieve (editorial).

Of the old editorial team (picture reproduced from Esther Levy's article), which was based in Weinheim, Germany, Agnes Petersen has retired but continues to support our production editors, Johanna Blessmann and Renate Dötzer left the company, Susanne Stoll who was there at the birth of the journal tragically died young in 2008. Melanie Schmitt (now Rettenmaier) now leads the administration team, Andreas Muth still works on developing our electronic services and processes, Vicki Cleave is the Editor in Chief of her own journal, the Journal of Polymer Science– Polymer Physics, based in our Hoboken, New Jersey office, Esther Levy works for the journal from Sydney, and Karen Grieve from Adelaide.

The current team has some 20 editors contributing to the journal from offices across the world, in Weinheim, Berlin, Hoboken (US), Beijing, and in Australia, along with a very effective admin team, and additional colleagues in production and marketing functions. In 2003 we were eagerly awaiting the submission of the 5000th communication and these days we receive over 6000 submissions per year. In the first 15 years we published some 3300 papers. The last ten years have seen over 7000 added. Clearly the field of “advanced” materials science has grown strongly, and the popularity of Advanced Materials with it.

Figure 1b.

The current Advanced Materials team. Top row (from left to right): Sabine Bahrs, Melanie Baumann, Matteo Cavalleri, James Cook, Anja Eberhardt, Guido Fuchs, Alison Green, Peter Gregory. Second row: Christine Herth, Sonja Hoffman, Sandra Kalveram, Eliza-Beth Lerch, Esther Levy, Yan Li, Duoduo Liang. Third row: Jenny Mahoney, Adrian Miller, Carolina Novo da Silva, Sjef Öllers, Anke Osterland, Martin Ottmar, Sarah Peters. Bottom row: Anne Pfisterer, Melanie Rettenmaier, Matthew Smyllie, Ingeborg Stass, Lorna Stimson, Anna Troeger, Ana Valente.

One measure of this development is the Impact Factor (IF)[1] of the journal. Figure 2shows how the IF values have changed from the start. Periods of fast growth (2001 – 2005; 2009 – 2012) to a certain extent coincide with reasonably stable numbers of published articles and strongly increasing rejection rates. As research funding in relevant areas grows and whole new communities of authors, such as those in China and India, join the fray, output is forced to increase in order to maintain sensible acceptance rates, and, down the line, the denominat or in the IF calculation rises. Where Advanced Materials has become one of the journals of choice for fast growing areas, such as graphene research from 2009 onwards, then a further boost to the IF results.

Figure 2.

Development of the Advanced Materials Impact Factor over the last 20 years.

The field of advanced materials, involving as it does chemistry, physics, engineering and other areas, is blessed with many strong journals to publish in. Nature Materials publishes only around 120 papers per year, but with an IF over 34 it is an attractive choice for the lucky few. Figure 3shows the recent development of the IFs of Advanced Materials and its mainstream competitors, which all publish large numbers of excellent papers. With Advanced Materials being one of only few journals that are listed in six difference ISI subject categories, the interdisciplinary nature of the content is confirmed, but the range of strong competitors is also broadened.

Figure 3.

Impact factor development of Advanced Materials and main competitors. Data taken from Web of Science.[1]

Impact Factors are calculated on the basis of article citations and, of course, not all papers and not all topics are cited to the same extent. Tables 1 and 2 show the most cited Advanced Materials articles prior to and after 2002. The growth of “nano” is clearly shown, as is the application relevance (solar cells, for example). Some people have also consistently published highly cited papers with us over many years and, as we can see, some articles attain very high citation levels. As Impact Factors are in effect averages across these articles and all the others, including some that have not been cited at all (even by the authors themselves), they need to be carefully interpreted. Such a range in citation also says that the peer-review and manuscript selection processes are not 100% solutions and that the job of making those selections is not an easy one, even for fully trained, professional editors with interdisciplinary backgrounds.

Table 1. Most cited Advanced Materials papers up to 2001[1]
ArticleAuthorsYearTimes Cited
Polymer Layered Silicate NanocompositesE. P. Giannelis19962324
Catalytic Growth of Zinc Oxide Nanowires by Vapor TransportM. H. Huang, Y. Y. Wu, H. Feick, et al.20011784
Nanoengineering of Particle SurfacesF. Caruso20011781
Energy Level Alignment and Interfacial Electronic Structures atH. Ishii, K. Sugiyama, E. Ito, et al.19991644
Organic/Metal and Organic/Organic InterfacesG. Horowitz19981493
Organic Field-effect Transistors   
Table 2. Most cited Advanced Materials papers from 2002 to 2013[1]
ArticleAuthorsYearTimes Cited
One-dimensional Nanostructures: Synthesis, Characterization, and ApplicationsY. N. Xia, P. D. Yang, Y. G. Sun, et al.20035012
Organic Thin Film Transistors for Large Area ElectronicsC. Dimitrakopoulos and P. Malenfant20023143
Electrospinning of Nanofibers: Reinventing the Wheel?D. Li, Y. N. Xia, et al.20041901
Design Rules for Donors in Bulk-heterojunction Solar Cells - Towards 10% Energy-conversion EfficiencyM. C. Scharber, D. Wuhlbacher, M. Koppe, et al.20061597
Growth of Arrayed Nanorods and Nanowires of ZnO from Aqueous SolutionsL. Vayssieres20031421

The undoubted trends towards application relevance have also spurred us on to extend the Advanced Materials family of journals. Advanced Energy Materials has made an excellent start, with over 1200 submissions per year and a first Impact Factor of above 10, and Advanced Healthcare Materials and Advanced Optical Materia ls are developing well, offering more space and additional options to authors and readers alike. Towards the end of this year the newest family member will be started: Advanced Materials Interfaces will address the need for a focus on integrating materials in systems and with each other and for exploiting surface and interface technologies and effects.

In the early days Advanced Materials also contained a news section, and information on conferences, publications, etc. This has gone, but in its place has grown our full-service news websites and its Chinese counterpart,, as well as our extensive social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, etc., and these services are delivered by the same editorial teams that are working on the other journal content.

So what is coming up? From this autumn, Advanced Materials will have Anywhere Article functionality, enabling attractive mobile usage, and it will soon be offering “Smart Article” functionality, where the content of the articles is enriched with database, teaching, and other data-oriented function. Add to this the new editorial office system, Editorial Manager, that went live in August offering authors and referees a far more comfortable and functional experience, and I hope you will agree that there are exciting things ahead.


As part of the silver jubilee celebration we will be publishing a series of “AM25” articles written by distinguished, invited authors on the hottest topics out there. A selection of the first articles in the series is shown in Table 3.

Table 3. A first selection of AM25 articles available on Early View
Understanding the Lithiation of Silicon and Other Alloying Anodes for Lithium-Ion BatteriesY. Cui, et al.adma.201301795
Engineering Hydrogels for BiofabricationJ. Malda, D. W. Hutmacher, et al.adma.201302042
Colloidal Quantum Dot Materials and Devices: A Quarter-Century of AdvancesE. H. Sargent, et al.adma.201301947
Dynamic Interfaces for Responsive Encapsulation SystemsE. V. Skorb and H. Möhwaldadma.201302142
Recent Advances in n-Type and Ambipolar Organic Field-Effect TransistorsY. Q. Liu, et al.adma.201302315
The Evolution of Electronic Skin (E-Skin): A Brief History, Design Considerations, and Recent ProgressZ. Bao, et al.adma.201302240
Reversible and Adaptive Functional Supramolecular Materials: “Noncovalent Interaction” MattersX. Zhang, et al.adma.201302015
Ion Exchange in Colloidal NanocrystalsA. L. Rogach, et al.adma.201302400
Key Points for High Mobility Organic Field-Effect TransistorsH. Dong, W. Hu, et al.adma.201302514
A Decade of Organic/Polymeric Photovoltaic ResearchG. Li, R. A. Street, Y. Yang, et al.adma.201302563
CVD Polymers: A New Paradigm for Surface Modification and Device FabricationK. Gleason, et al.adma.201301878
No Assembly Required: Recent advances in Fully Conjugated Block CopolymersC. J. Hawker, et al.adma.201302677
“Cooking Carbon with Salt”:M. Antonietti, et al.adma.201301975
Carbon Materials and Carbonaceous Frameworks from Ionic liquids and Poly(ionic liquid)s  
What can be done with Langmuir-Blodgett Method? Recent Developments and its Critical Role in Materials ScienceK. Ariga, et al.adma.201302283
Rise to Power-OPV based Solar ParksF. C. Krebs, et al.adma.201302031
Design of Polymethine Dyes for All-Optical Switching Applications: Guidance from Theoretical and Computational StudiesS. R. Marder, J.-L. Bredas, et al.adma.201302676
Galvanic Replacement: A Simple and Versatile Route to Hollow Nanostructures with Tunable and Well-Controlled PropertiesY. Xia, et al.adma.201302820
Designer Hydrogels for Cell Cultures: A Materials Selection GuideW. Huck, et al.adma.201302958
Rational Design and Application of Hydrogels in Regenerative MedicineA. Khademhosseini, et al.adma.201303233
Progress in Chemistry and Applications of Functional Indigos for Organic ElectronicsE. D. Glowacki, et al.adma.201302652

Finally, keep a lookout for the forthcoming Advanced Materials iPad app that puts the very best materials science at your fingertips.

The editorial team will also be travelling extensively over the next year, visiting major conferences and top institutions. We look forward to meeting old friends, making new ones, and celebrating the vibrancy of the field of advanced materials.


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    Dr. Peter Gregory Editor-in-Chief, Advanced Materials