This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Journal of Photonics for Energy (JPE). In celebration of this milestone we are launching several special sections that will cover many areas of research and education in photonics and green energy. The first one is on education and training in light for energy, where Joanna Millunchick (University of Michigan) and I, Zakya Kafafi (Lehigh University), will serve as guest editors. This is an unusual special section where the focus is on novel and unconventional methods of education in this active area of research. Educators and academicians are invited to submit an original research article and/or a tutorial covering this topic (e.g., new techniques and/or novel approaches for teaching this subject, innovative laboratory experiments, etc.). The focus will be on novel and nontraditional courses and laboratory experiments carried out to educate and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. In addition, one of our associate editors, Jeremy Pietron (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory), is serving as guest editor with Roland Marschall (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany) for a special section on solar fuels photocatalysis. Another section on a very hot topic, perovskite-based solar cells, was launched by Ana Nogueira (University of Campinas, Brazil) and Yang Yang (University of California at Los Angeles). Qiaoqiang Gan (University of Buffalo) and Jeremy Munday (University of Maryland) are serving as guest editors for a special section on hot carrier energy harvesting and conversion. Last but not least, another special section on organic and hybrid organic-inorganic LEDs for flat panel displays will be developed by Changhee Lee (Seoul National University, Republic of Korea).
We recently sent invitations to plenary and invited speakers at the two major SPIE meetings, Optics + Photonics 2015 and Photonics West 2016, to submit mini-reviews for the regular JPE section entitled “Breakthroughs in Photonics and Energy.” This journal section publishes review articles that cover the latest progress (3–5 years) in a specific area of research in photonics and energy. All papers published in this section of the journal are open access. If you are interested in submitting a mini-review for this section, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with a proposal.
As JPE grows and diversifies, we will welcome new reviewers and recruit additional associate editors who are actively pursuing research and have excellent publication records. If you believe you would enjoy the opportunity to review a manuscript please register at http://jpe.msubmit.net.
In addition to sharing our vision and our near- and long-term plans for this young journal, it is good to reflect on our past by looking at our accomplishments and learning from our shortcomings. Last year we celebrated the International Year of Light, and nine JPE editors wrote a review article titled “The Role of Photonics in Energy.” This review paper, which is open access, was published online last October and has received close to 1,400 downloads so far.
I am also happy to report that the most-read SPIE journals press release in 2015 was on a JPE article entitled “Flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) for solid-state lighting” by Min-Ho Park et al. In addition, we published four special sections with a total of 42 manuscripts including 10 review articles. These special sections covered very broad research areas of light in energy, from solution-processable organic to hybrid organic-inorganic solar cells, to nanophotonics and plasmonics for solar energy harvesting, to solid-state lighting.
On the negative side, the rejection rate for our regular manuscripts increased in 2015, reflecting that many of the unsolicited regular submissions we received were of poor quality and/or showed only incremental research progress. This is in contrast to the much lower rejection rate for invited original research articles and review articles. In the future, we expect the quality of these regular submissions to improve as the journal gains visibility and becomes better known to our research community for its high scientific and technical quality.
I am proud to say that our journal is quite diversified in technical content and international authorship. Of the 232 papers published in JPE, 63% of them have been from outside the United States, covering all five continents: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the SPIE journal staff and all of the past and present associate editors who helped launch and played a critical role in establishing the Journal of Photonics for Energy. The great contributions of all authors and reviewers that led to the success of this journal cannot be forgotten and are gratefully acknowledged.