Guide for Authors

All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

INTRODUCTION
• Aims and Scope
• Types of Contribution
• Featured Letters: A Call for Papers
• Contact Details
• Submission checklist
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
• Online Submission
• Ethics in publishing
• Human and animal rights
• Declaration of interest
• Submission declaration and verification
• Changes to authorship
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Open access
• Submission
PREPARATION
• Article structure
• Essential title page information
• Abstract
• Keywords
• Artwork
• Tables
• References
• Video
• Supplementary data
• Database linking
• ARTICLE ENRICHMENTS
• AudioSlides
• Interactive MATLAB Figure Viewer
• Interactive plots
AFTER ACCEPTANCE
• Online proof correction
• Offprints
• Keyword List
AUTHOR INQUIRIES

Aims and Scope

Materials Letters is dedicated to publishing novel, cutting edge reports of broad interest to the materials community. The journal provides a forum for materials scientists and engineers, physicists, and chemists to rapidly communicate on the most important topics in the field in materials. We are primarily interested in those contributions which bring new insights, and papers will be selected on the basis of the importance of the new knowledge they provide.

Contributions include a variety of topics such as:

Materials - Metals and alloys, amorphous solids, ceramics, composites, nanocrystals, polymers, semiconductors.
Applications - Structural, opto-electronic, magnetic, medical, MEMS, sensors, smart, biomaterials.
Characterization - Analytical, microscopy, scanning probes, nanoscopic, optical, electrical, acoustic, spectroscopic, diffraction.
Novel Materials - Micro and nanostructures (nanowires, nanotubes, nanoparticles), nanocomposites, thin films, superlattices, quantum dots.
Processing - Thin film processing, sol-gel processing, mechanical processing, assembly, and nanocrystalline processing leading to unique materials.
Properties - Mechanical, magnetic, optical, electrical, ferroelectric, thermal, interfacial, transport, thermodynamic.
Synthesis - Quenching, solid state, solidification, solution synthesis, vapor deposition, and high pressure, explosive processes leading to unique materials.

The following topics are inappropriate for publication:

Building materials - aggregate, asphalt, cement, concrete, plaster
Catalytic materials
Corrosion and oxidation phenomena and protection
Liquid crystals
Metallurgical Processes
Natural raw materials ¿ clays, minerals, rocks
Oxide glasses and glass ceramics
Recycled materials
Refractories
Single crystal growth
Theory
Wear

Types of Contribution

Short Communications (Letters) are intended as brief reports of significant, original and timely research results on the science, applications and processing of materials which warrant rapid publication. In considering a manuscript for publication, particular attention will be given to the originality of the research, the desirability of speedy publication, the clarity of the presentation and the validity of the conclusions. There is a strict four-page limit to printed articles. Manuscripts must not exceed 2000 words plus three figures and one table. This includes everything: the title, authors, affiliations, abstract, keywords, body of the manuscript, acknowledgements, references, figure captions, etc. The maximum number of figures is strictly limited to five. If the maximum of 4 figures is used, then the total number of words must be reduced to 1800. If the maximum of 5 figures is used, then the total number of words must be reduced to 1600. If more than 5 figures are used, the manuscript will be rejected. The manuscript submitted for review should not exceed 8 pages (including title, abstract, references, figures, tables and figure captions). Short Communications need to report a concise but exhaustive Material and methods section included in the main text.

Featured Letters: A Call for Papers

Featured Letters are invited only contributions to Materials Letters. They are short but authoritative reports of the state-of-the-art in a scientific field, without becoming as exhaustive as classical review papers. These articles still maintain the rapid communication character of Materials Letters, 4 to 6 printed pages with emphasis on recent findings and breakthroughs, but they are intended to also provide a concise and critical overview of the scientific field. The authors' recent work is highlighted (relevant important prior-contributions, by the authors or others, should be included and discussed in context). We are currently inviting Featured Letters from within the following fields:

  • Organic electronics, Organic semiconductors
  • Advanced Piezoelectrics/ferroelectrics
  • Advanced Magnetic materials
  • Nano-biomaterials
  • Materials for Alternative Energy applications (nanomaterials, dielectrics, photocatalytic materials, PV, LEDs, etc.)
  • Metamaterials
  • Sustainable Materials
  • Materials with novel properties (ionic liquids, quantum and confined structures, etc.)
  • Novel nanoscale carbonaceous materials (CNT, graphene, etc.)
  • Evolution and stability of the microstructure of nanocrystalline materials

Featured Letters can include authors' perspectives: i.e., unsolved problems and tentative conclusions are welcome, when properly identified, authors' outlook on new opportunities and challenges, as appropriate, are also welcome in the conclusions, etc.

Featured Letters enjoy benefits, such as:

  • Guarantee rapid publication, as soon as finalized in production
  • Free color in print
  • The new section will be promoted via Elsevier marketing channels
  • Featured on cover

If you believe you can contribute such a manuscript, you can contact the editor, A.R. Boccaccini, to suggest a topic for a Featured Letter.

Note: Featured Letters manuscripts must not exceed 4000 words plus 5 figures/table. This includes the title, authors, affiliations, abstract, keywords, body of the manuscript, acknowledgements and references. Contact Details

Authors should submit their article via the online submission system. Authors will be asked to choose the Editor whose subject area is most closely aligned to the subject of their article. Each Editor's specialties are given below. To expedite the review process, authors will also be prompted to nominate 3 potential referees, who are not at the same institute, to serve as potential referees. Contact details are helpful.

Principal Editors
Prof. Aldo Boccaccini, Editor in chief - Biomaterials, Glasses and Ceramics, Materials Processing, Porous Materials, Biocomposites, Mechanical Properties
Evangelos Manias - Featured Letters, Polymers, Organic Materials, Polymer-Matrix (nano)Composites
Prof. J. Hojo - Nano-composites, Composites, Sol-gel preparation
Prof. J.C. Huang - Metallic glasses, Aluminum and Magnesium alloys, High Temperature plastic forming, Biocompatible metals, Microstructure and TEM
Prof. T.G. Nieh - Metallic Alloys, Ceramics, Composites, High Temperature Materials, Mechanical Behavior, Material Processing
Prof. L.S. Shvindlerman - Nano-Crystalline Metals, Thermodynamics, Kinetics, Interfaces and Surfaces.
Prof. M. Wang - Biomaterials, Nano-biomaterials, Bio-composites, coatings and thin films for biomedical applications
Prof. A.F.W. Willoughby - Semiconductor/Electronic Materials, Polymers

Submission checklist

You can use this list to carry out a final check of your submission before you send it to the journal for review. Please check the relevant section in this Guide for Authors for more details.

Ensure that the following items are present:

One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
• E-mail address
• Full postal address

All necessary files have been uploaded:
Manuscript:
• Include keywords
• All figures (include relevant captions)
• All tables (including titles, description, footnotes)
• Ensure all figure and table citations in the text match the files provided
• Indicate clearly if color should be used for any figures in print
Graphical Abstracts / Highlights files (where applicable)
Supplemental files (where applicable)

Further considerations
• Manuscript has been 'spell checked' and 'grammar checked'
• All references mentioned in the Reference List are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
• Relevant declarations of interest have been made
• Journal policies detailed in this guide have been reviewed
• Referee suggestions and contact details provided, based on journal requirements

For further information, visit our Support Center.

Online Submission

* Authors must submit their articles using the secure online submission system at http://ees.elsevier.com/mlblue.

To facilitate rapid publication, it is essential to precisely follow these instructions. Failure to do so can result in a delay or rejection of the manuscript for publication.

To ensure a timely review you will be required to answer the following questions before your paper will be considered for review.

• Has your paper, or part of your paper, been published before, or is it currently submitted for review to another journal?
Yes / No
(If yes, then do not submit your paper to Materials Letters.)

• Is the total number of words in the manuscript including the title, authors, affiliations, abstract, keywords, body of the manuscript, acknowledgements, references and figure captions less than 2000?
Yes / No
(If greater than 2000, please reduce the number of words.)

• Is the number of figures greater than 5?
Yes / No
(If yes, then the paper will automatically be rejected.)

• Are the x-ray diffraction patterns indexed?
Yes / No
X-ray diffraction patterns should be indexed. (If your x-ray patterns are not indexed, the paper will be rejected for publication.)

• Do the micrographs have professional quality scale markers?
Yes / No
Professional scale bars should be added to micrographs; the bar included in the micrograph printout is not sufficient.
(Please replace the black bar on SEM & TEM micrographs with a professional quality scale marker.)

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information pages on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication.

Human and animal rights

If the work involves the use of human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 and associated guidelines, EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments, or the National Institutes of Health guide for the care and use of Laboratory animals (NIH Publications No. 8023, revised 1978) and the authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed.

Declaration of interest

All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. More information.

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' section of our ethics policy for more information), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Article transfer service
This journal is part of our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor feels your article is more suitable in one of our other participating journals, then you may be asked to consider transferring the article to one of those. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by the new journal. More information.

Copyright

Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases.

For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (more information). Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Funding body agreements and policies
Elsevier has established a number of agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some funding bodies will reimburse the author for the Open Access Publication Fee. Details of existing agreements are available online.

Open access

This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

Open access
• Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse.
• An open access publication fee is payable by authors or on their behalf, e.g. by their research funder or institution.
Subscription
• Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our universal access programs.
• No open access publication fee payable by authors.

Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Lets others distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), include in a collective work (such as an anthology), text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

The open access publication fee for this journal is USD 3000, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy: https://www.elsevier.com/openaccesspricing.

Green open access
Authors can share their research in a variety of different ways and Elsevier has a number of green open access options available. We recommend authors see our green open access page for further information. Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository after an embargo period. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications. Embargo period: For subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before an article becomes freely available to the public. This is the embargo period and it begins from the date the article is formally published online in its final and fully citable form. Find out more.

This journal has an embargo period of 24 months.

Elsevier Publishing Campus
The Elsevier Publishing Campus (www.publishingcampus.com) is an online platform offering free lectures, interactive training and professional advice to support you in publishing your research. The College of Skills training offers modules on how to prepare, write and structure your article and explains how editors will look at your paper when it is submitted for publication. Use these resources, and more, to ensure that your submission will be the best that you can make it.

Language (usage and editing services)
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop.

Submission

Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.

Referees
Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential referees. For more details, visit our Support site. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.

Use of word processing software
It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not you embed your figures in the text. See also the section on Electronic artwork.
To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

Article structure

Follow this order when submitting manuscripts: Title, Authors, Affiliations, Abstract, Keywords, Main text, Acknowledgements, Appendix, References, Figure Captions and then Tables. For submission via the website you are requested to import low-resolution images into the article at the approximate location you wish them to appear. Thus the PDF which is created for refereeing purposes will contain all necessary information. In addition you will be asked to separately upload high quality images. Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article and do not include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise.

Text Layout

Use double spacing and wide (3 cm) margins. (Avoid full justification, i.e., do not use a constant right-hand margin.) Ensure that each new paragraph is clearly indicated. Present tables, figures and figure legends at the point they will appear in the manuscript. If possible, consult a recent issue of the journal to become familiar with layout and conventions. Number all pages consecutively, use 12 or 10 pt font size and standard fonts.

Subdivision - numbered sections
Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. (the abstract is not included in section numbering). Use this numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.

Introduction
State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

Material and methods
Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described.

Theory/calculation
A Theory section should extend, not repeat, the background to the article already dealt with in the Introduction and lay the foundation for further work. In contrast, a Calculation section represents a practical development from a theoretical basis.

Results
Results should be clear and concise.

Discussion
This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

Conclusions
The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section.

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.

Abstract

A self-contained abstract of 100 to 200 words, outlining in a single paragraph the aims, scope and conclusions of the paper must be supplied. Do not list the analytical equipment (e.g. SEM, XRD, TEM) used unless it is critical to the meaning. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separate from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, they must be cited in full, without reference to the reference list. Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

Graphical abstract
Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.
Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration and Enhancement service to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements: Illustration Service.

Highlights
Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article and should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). You can view example Highlights on our information site.

Keywords

Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

Acknowledgements
Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

Formatting of funding sources
List funding sources in this standard way to facilitate compliance to funder's requirements:

Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number zzzz]; and the United States Institutes of Peace [grant number aaaa].

It is not necessary to include detailed descriptions on the program or type of grants and awards. When funding is from a block grant or other resources available to a university, college, or other research institution, submit the name of the institute or organization that provided the funding.

If no funding has been provided for the research, please include the following sentence:

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Nomenclature and units
Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other quantities are mentioned, give their equivalent in SI. You are urged to consult IUGS: Nomenclature for geological time scales/rock names for further information.

Math formulae
Please submit math equations as editable text and not as images. Present simple formulae in line with normal text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. In principle, variables are to be presented in italics. Powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp. Number consecutively any equations that have to be displayed separately from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).

Artwork

Electronic artwork
General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
Formats
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Color artwork
Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF), or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color: in print or online only. Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork.

Figure captions
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.

Tables

Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules.

References

Citation in text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Web references
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

Data references
This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

References in a special issue
Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley and Zotero, as well as EndNote. Using the word processor plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide.

Users of Mendeley Desktop can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the following link:
http://open.mendeley.com/use-citation-style/materials-letters
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.

Reference style
Text: Indicate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.
Example: '..... as demonstrated [3,6]. Barnaby and Jones [8] obtained a different result ....'
List: Number the references (numbers in square brackets) in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.
Examples:
Reference to a journal publication:
[1] J. van der Geer, J.A.J. Hanraads, R.A. Lupton, The art of writing a scientific article, J. Sci. Commun. 163 (2010) 51–59.
Reference to a book:
[2] W. Strunk Jr., E.B. White, The Elements of Style, fourth ed., Longman, New York, 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
[3] G.R. Mettam, L.B. Adams, How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: B.S. Jones, R.Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age, E-Publishing Inc., New York, 2009, pp. 281–304.
Reference to a website:
[4] Cancer Research UK, Cancer statistics reports for the UK. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/aboutcancer/statistics/cancerstatsreport/, 2003 (accessed 13.03.03).
Reference to a dataset:
[dataset] [5] M. Oguro, S. Imahiro, S. Saito, T. Nakashizuka, Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/xwj98nb39r.1.

Journal abbreviations source
Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations.

Video

Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the files in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

Supplementary data

Figures and text submitted as supplementary material must contain only material that is supportive of the main text, and not material that is inherent to the essential meaning of the article. Papers with reference to supplementary material, which the Editors find necessary to include as main text, will be sent back to authors.
Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com. In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide the data in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.

Database linking

Elsevier encourages authors to connect articles with external databases, giving readers access to relevant databases that help to build a better understanding of the described research. Please refer to relevant database identifiers using the following format in your article: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN). More information and a full list of supported databases.

ARTICLE ENRICHMENTS

AudioSlides

The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

Interactive MATLAB Figure Viewer

This journal features the Interactive MATLAB Figure Viewer, allowing you to display figures created in MATLAB in the .FIG format in an interactive viewer next to the article. More information and submission instructions.

Interactive plots

This journal enables you to show an Interactive Plot with your article by simply submitting a data file. Full instructions.

Online proof correction

Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.

Offprints

The corresponding author will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Webshop. Corresponding authors who have published their article open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.

Keyword List

Adhesion
Amorphous materials
Atom probe
Atomic force microscopy
Biomaterials
Biomimetic
Carbon materials
Carbon nanotubes
Nanoparticles
Cast
Ceramics
Bioceramics
Functional
Structural
Colloidal processing
Composite materials
Ceramic composites
Metallic composites
Polymeric composites
Corrosion
Creep
Crystal growth
Crystal structure
Defects
Deformation and fracture
Deposition
Chemical vapour deposition
Electrodeposition
Physical vapour deposition
Sputtering
Dielectrics
Diffusion
Elastic properties
Electrical properties
Electroceramics
Electron microscopy
Electronic materials
Contacts
Organic
Semiconductors
Energy storage and conversion
Epitaxial growth
Fatigue
Ferroelectrics
Fibre technology
Fullerenes
Grain boundaries
Grain boundary junctions
Indentation and hardness
Interfaces
Intermetallic alloys and compounds
Ion beam technology
Laminates
Langmuir-Blodgett films
Laser processing
Luminescence
Magnetic materials
Metal forming and shaping
Metallurgy
Metals and alloys
Multilayer structure
Microstructure
Nanocomposites
Nanocrystalline materials
Functional
Structural
Neutron diffraction and scattering
Nuclear materials
Optical materials and properties
Oxidation
Particles, nanosize
Phase diagrams
Phase transformation
Phosphors
Piezoelectric materials
Polymers
Powder technology
Porous materials
Psitron annihilation
Radiation damage
Recrystallization
Scanning tunnelling microscopy
Segregation
Sensors
Shape memory materials
Simulation and modelling
Sintering
Solar energy materials
Sol-gel preparation
Solidification
Spectroscopy
FTIR
Mossbauer
Raman
XPS
Superconductors
Surfaces
Texture
Thermal analysis
Thermal properties
Thermodynamics and kinetics of processes in materials
Thick films
Thin films
Varistors
Viscoelasticity
Wear and tribology
Welding
X-ray techniques



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