I once had an interesting statement from an Advanced Materials author in response to a reviewer report. The referee had criticized that the paper was too little concerned with materials and too much with device construction. The author countered that Advanced Materials had become the prime journal for the organic photovoltaics community and that the paper would fi nd an approving readership regardless. Given that citations to papers concerned with energyrelated research average above the ISI impact factor of Advanced Materials (2009: 8.379), this was a perspicious argument. We are, of course, happy to be of such service, but had already begun asking ourselves if we couldn't do even better for the community and our readers. Catalyzed by Christoph Brabec's remarks two years ago that there wasn't really a journal tailored specifi cally to the needs of the whole energy research community, we took a closer look at the literature landscape. A fair number of successful journals provide indepth coverage on individual subjects such as fuel cells, semiconductor photovoltaics, or organic devices, or they cover energy applications within their scope of specific material classes. There was, however, no dedicated overarching journal catering for the entire field across disciplines and subtopics by offering significant impact and recognition beyond closeknit specialist communities. The idea of an “Advanced Materials for the growing energy community” was thus born, fuelled by steady increase of energyrelated manuscript submissions and publications both in Advanced Materials and Advanced Functional Materials over the last years. Figure 1 shows the proportion of manuscripts directly associated with energy through primary topic/title. Further manuscripts in both journals relate to energy topics through individual keywords, bringing the 2010 shares to 15% and 22%, respectively.1 Based on this, we had high expectations when we started a recurring special section and named it Advanced Energy Materials, but interest in and encouragement for the issues published in February, May and September 2010 surged even faster than anticipated. In the May edition, IBM researchers led by David Mitzi presented a 9.6% efficiency solar cell built from abundant materials by means of a newly developed slurrybased coating method which did without vacuum technology and at the same time surpassed previous devices using the same materials.2 At the writing of these lines, Luping Yu's article from Chicago University has already garnered over 50 citations, which underlines the importance attributed to breakthrough performances in bulk heterojunction solar cell effi ciencies.3 In the September issue, L. Jay Guo and coworkers from Michigan demonstrated industrial potential with a performance-preserving roll-to-roll manufacturing process for polymer solar cells.4 More examples would be appropriate, but for brevity's sake I need to refer readers to www.advenergymat.de and the <<backfiles>> button there which will take you to links to the three sections.
It is my great pleasure to now present to you the first independent issue of Advanced Energy Materials, which we have turned into a full-fledged journal in its own right. More space for publications is but one advantage of this new freedom; another feature is its full range of article formats accepted, which, in addition to all Advanced Materials types, includes Full Papers in Advanced Functional Materials style. In view of the outstanding authorship on the following pages, I believe we collectively have set the right tone for Advanced Energy Materials to establish itself in the Advanced journals family on the same level of scientific quality and rigorous peer reviewing, and to fulfill expectations as a top forum for multidisciplinary energy publications of broad interest.
My gratitude goes out to all authors of this first issue which have entrusted this new journal with some of their best hard-won results (and some spectacular combinations of science and art), and to all reviewers who have taken on the task of providing valuable feedback, and who have been instrumental in setting a high standard of expectation from the start. I am further indebted to the members of the editorial advisory board, both those which joined the special section in Advanced Materials a year ago5 and those which have followed our recent invitations to help promote the new journal and contribute their experience and counsel. I am very happy to welcome Peter Bruce (St. Andrews University), Jaephil Cho (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology), Bruce Dunn (University of California Los Angeles), Wenping Hu (Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), Max (G.Q.) Lu (University of Queensland), Henning Sirringhaus (Cambridge University), Takao Someya (University of Tokyo), Michael Strano (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Zhong Lin Wang (Georgia Tech), and Dongyuan Zhao (Fudan University) to the board.
Finally, I am most grateful to the materials science community for its avid support to embark on this exciting project, and to you for your interest. Please check with your librarians that they sign up for complimentary access to the journal in 2011 and 2012. I look forward to your feedback and, of course, your next manuscript in the inbox of Advanced Energy Materials.