Welcome to Optical Materials Express, the latest in OSA’s Express brand of open-access, rapid publishing journals. As the name implies, this journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers working in the very broad area where optics and materials science overlap. Although OSA journals have covered some aspects of this field, much of the research carried out on optical materials would not usually be considered for publication in OSA journals, even though the work may be of critical importance to the field of optics. Nearing the end of this 50th year of the laser, it is interesting to contemplate just how much the continuing development of lasers owes to advances in materials. It is therefore, highly appropriate and long-overdue for OSA to introduce a journal devoted to optical materials. For many researchers in this field, it may be difficult to publish some of their work the existing OSA journals, as the work could be regarded as having insufficient “optics content”, while a similar problem may be faced when attempting to publish this work in a traditional materials journal. Optical Materials Express, or OMEx for short, provides a natural publishing home for high-quality research in this field. It is expected therefore, that this journal will attract many authors who are new to publishing in OSA journals. In fact, I will not consider the journal as a success unless it does so.Many features of OMEx will be similar to OSA’s other pioneering and highly successful Express OSA publications, Optics Express and Biomedical Optics Express. Most significantly, OMEx will offer rapid, online, and open-access publication, in which papers will be published online within a few days of being accepted. Additionally, the journal will offer the availability of free color figures, movies, animations, and live reference links. HTML with MathML (XHTML) versions of each OMEx article, suitable for viewing on a range of electronic devices, are published along with the formatted PDF.The success of this journal will be largely determined by time-to-publication and impact. It is my goal that OMEx should equal or exceed its sister Express journals on those measures. We hold the same high standards of quality in research and scholarship shared by all of OSA’s journal publications. The difference between OMEx and Optics Express will be based solely on scope, not on quality. As with all OSA journals, a paper is acceptable for publication in Optical Materials Express only when, in addition to being correct technically, it also adds a new and important result to the field. In order to serve authors efficiently and quickly, all manuscripts submitted to OMEx will undergo editorial board review prior to entering the peer-review system. This allows manuscripts not appropriate for the journal to be returned quickly to authors so that their time is not wasted and that the peer-review system is not needlessly burdened.We plan to have frequent feature and focus issues on topics of current interest. The difference between feature and focus issues is that focus issues are all-invited, while feature issues contain a mix of invited and contributed papers. This inaugural issue contains an excellent focus issue on Chiral Optical Materials, co-edited by Thierry Verbiest and Vincent Rodriguez. Forthcoming feature and focus issues include Advances in Optical Materials, based on the recent OSA conference with the same name, edited by Takunori Taira and Gerard Aka; Femtosecond Direct Laser Writing and Structuring of Materials, edited by Thierry Cardinal, Bertrand Poumellec and Kazuyuki Hirao; and Nanoplasmonics and Metamaterials, edited by Vladimir Drachev and Romain Quidant. Papers in feature and focus issues will present new, previously unpublished results, but each issue may also have one or two review articles. Occasionally, stand-alone invited review articles on a specific field of current interest may also be published.The scope of this journal encompasses all things related to optical materials. Manuscripts should have significant materials content, but should also be highly relevant to the field of optics. The following is a list of topics on which we will entertain manuscripts, but this list is by no means exclusive.

  • • Artificially engineered structures
  • • Biomaterials
  • • Detector materials
  • • Optical storage media
  • • Materials for integrated optics
  • • Nonlinear optical materials
  • • Laser materials
  • • Metamaterials
  • • Nanomaterials
  • • Organics and polymers
  • • Soft materials
  • • IR materials
  • • Materials for fiber optics
  • • Fluorescent and Luminescent Materials
  • • Thin Films
  • • Chiral Media
  • • Liquid Crystals
  • • Semiconductors
  • • Solgels
  • • Glass and other amorphous materials
  • • Ceramics
Instructions for submission of manuscripts will be permanently available through the journal home page at http://www.opticsinfobase.org/omex/. Note that manuscripts submitted within the first year will have no author charges, followed by a reduced rate in the second year.I share the task of making OMEx a success with an outstanding and diverse team of Associate Editors, the list of whom may be found through the OMEx home page. Additionally, many outstanding optical and materials scientists and engineers volunteered their time in the task of carefully examining and deliberating the concept of a materials-related journal published by OSA, and in creating a plan for its implementation. Behind the scenes, there is a very talented and dedicated group of professionals in the OSA publications department who have taken the idea of OMEx and made it a reality. It is an absolute pleasure to work with so many dedicated and talented people and I am honored to be able to serve with them in my role as Editor-in-Chief.Finally, I would like to point out that the peer-review system depends absolutely on the willingness of the scientists and engineers in the community to carry out careful and thoughtful reviews. Your support as reviewers is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Please remember that for every paper you publish, at least two reviews are needed. – Are you doing your part?Looking forward, it is my earnest hope that Optical Materials Express will become your number one choice for rapid, peer-reviewed publication of your highest-quality research in the optical materials arena. Your suggestions and comments will always be welcomed and can be sent to omex@osa.org.

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