MatDes brings together the overriding interest in the inherent architecture of solid matter with the practical need to know and use its properties to perform certain roles in service, either structural or functional. In reflection of this title, MatDes is focused on the studies of natural and engineered materials, with particular emphasis on the elucidation of their structure and properties at all scales, from nuclear and electronic to amorphous and crystalline levels of organisation, to nano-scale and micro-structuring aspects, and ultimately to the manner in which this manifests itself in the suitability and performance of materials in various natural and man-made systems and applications.


In order to help the authors, reviewers and editors identified those directions of research that match the existing and future thematic threads in Materials & Design, to compile a list of priority areas that are of particular interest to the readers of the special issue. These are:


1. Micro- and nano-scale multi-physics phenomena, and the analysis structure, morphology, and the role of interfaces in relation to design at all scales, e.g. electrochemical energy storage, phase transformation and associated processes

2. Operando and in situ studies of processes and structural evolution

3. Processing of alloys and compounds for microstructure and property control, e.g. friction stir and severe plastic deformation

4. Lightweight materials, e.g. alloys containing magnesium and lithium, as well as composites of all types of matrix (polymer, metal and ceramic) and reinforcement, including continuous and discontinuous fibres, low aspect ratio inclusions and nano-structured reinforcements

5. Multifunctional materials, e.g. alloys, polymers and ceramics displaying shape memory effects, as well as bio-composites, composites of green or sustainable origin, and biomimetic materials

6. Intelligent materials design to optimise performance, including hierarchical microstructural optimisation, self-healing, energy absorption, for durability, against damage and environmental extremes