27 No. 5
Towards Defining Materials Chemistry
The last 10–15 years have seen the emergence and rapid growth of “materials chemistry” as a distinct discipline within the broad family of chemical sciences. This was a combination of noun and adjective that had not previously formed part of the chemists’ vocabulary. Now a significant portion of all publications in chemistry claim to form part of this new field. In particular, two international journals (Chemistry of Materials, published by the American Chemical Society, and the Journal of Materials Chemistry, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK) are achieving high-impact factors and publish work emanating from every continent of the world. Yet, there remains no definition of the phrase “materials chemistry” that is agreed upon by the global chemical community. As IUPAC is the most appropriate body to sponsor such a debate, the project proposed here aims to address this deficit.
Part of the difficulty in defining the scope of materials chemistry arises from the fact that it transcends the divisions separating the traditional branches of chemistry (e.g., organic and inorganic) or between continuous-lattice and molecular solids. To address these difficulties it appears necessary to assemble a small, multi-national and multi-disciplinary task group, representing different aspects of the subject, to harness these experts’ experience in compiling lists of relevant published material (books, reviews, chapters, Web sites, etc.). The goal of the project is to produce a set of brief statements summarizing the current consensus on the scope of materials chemistry.
For more information and comments, contact Task Group Chairman Peter Day <[email protected]>.
last modified 22 August 2005.
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