Elena Galoppini graduated with a Laurea in Chimica (MSc) from the Università di Pisa, Italy, in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1994, with Professor Philip E. Eaton. Following a two-year Postdoctoral Associate appointment at the University of Texas Austin with Professor Marye Anne Fox, in 1996 she began her independent research career at Rutgers University-Newark, where she is currently Distinguished Professor.
At Rutgers, Prof. Galoppini has served as the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Department of Chemistry from 2016-2019, and over the years she has been Visiting Professor at several institutions including the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in Sweden and the University of Padova in Italy. In 2019 she was the recipient of a Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research.
Prof. Galoppini has served on the Advisory Editorial Board of Langmuir from 2007-2010 and is the author of 100 peer-reviewed articles in fundamental and applied research areas, with a primary focus on synthesis of functional bridging units for binding organic chromophores to inorganic semiconductors.
I recently spoke with Dr. Galoppini to learn more about her plans for ACS Applied Optical Materials.
Welcome to the ACS Publications Team, Dr. Galoppini, and congratulations on your new role as the Founding Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Optical Materials. Can you tell us a bit about what drew you to accepting a leadership position with this new journal?
Thank you. Firstly, I want to say that I am honored to be entrusted with this responsibility, and that I am absolutely excited to be the Founding Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Optical Materials, one of the two new journals added in 2022 to the ACS Applied Materials portfolio.
I was drawn to accepting this position because it is an opportunity to contribute in a creative way to the field of optical materials, and in a manner that is entirely new to me. After many years in academic research, the editorial role is a new direction and poses a fresh challenge. In fact, I feel the same energy and sense of possibilities as when I was a new Assistant Professor, and entered my empty laboratory space for the first time.
What are you most excited about as the journal opens for submissions?
It is exciting to be part of a perfectly timed initiative by ACS that meets the growing interest in optical materials. In the past five years, publications in this area have sharply increased. ACS Applied Optical Materials, with a focus on applications, will complement other ACS publications that are covering more fundamental aspects of the interactions between light and matter.
Second, the journal is part of the ACS Applied Materials portfolio, a family of journals encompassing the areas of interfaces, energy, nanoscience, biomaterials, polymers and electronics, and that this year has been expanded to include engineering and optical materials. There is great collegiality between this group of Deputy Editors, and for this reason I anticipate excellent opportunities for future collaborations on Special Issues, Editorials, and other initiatives that are interdisciplinary and cross-cutting the areas of interest among the ACS Applied Materials journals.
What kind of research reports are of particular interest to you? Are there specific challenges you hope articles in this journal can seek to address?
The field of optical materials is broad, and we welcome high quality, interdisciplinary manuscripts reporting research on emerging applications, and that provide mechanistic insight on optical devices functions. From a personal perspective, I find fascinating the role of interfaces and how they can influence and control the properties and functions of optical materials and devices.
A specific challenge that I hope the journal can address will be to identify emerging areas of interest in the multifaceted discipline of optical materials, and then highlight them in the journal. To this end, it will be essential the input of the Associate Editors and of the Advisory Editorial Board members. Since they come from different scientific backgrounds, offer complementary expertise, and represent different geographical regions, they will be able to address this challenge from a variety of perspectives.
Do you have any advice for authors seeking to publish their papers with you?
My first suggestion to an author is to look at the journal scope and, as issues will be published following the launch, read the articles and become familiar with the type of research published in ACS Applied Optical Materials. This will ensure that the work that you seek to publish in ACS Applied Optical Materials fits within the scope of the journal.
Secondly, I recommend making a clear connection to how the research presented in your manuscript can advance applications, demonstrate new functions, or be integrated in a device. ACS Applied Optical Materials, as the rest of the ACS Applied Materials portfolio, focuses on high quality research of an applied nature. It is not necessary to directly demonstrate an application, but you should emphasize this connection and put your work in this kind of context.
What opportunities in your field excite you the most?
One of the most exciting opportunities has been collaborating with colleagues who come from completely different scientific backgrounds from mine, and are outside my field. I am at core an organic chemist, and the most rewarding collaborations have been with physicists, physical chemists, and theoreticians. Everybody learns something new, and together we expand and develop new ideas in a manner that would never have been possible.
What do you think are the non-scientific challenges facing your field?
In my experience, science is generally poorly communicated to the public, and conveying the positive impact of chemistry on society is an enduring challenge. For instance, undergraduate students taking their first organic chemistry course tend to consider it an obstacle, and anticipate chemistry to be a dry and abstract subject. Fortunately, in academia we have the opportunity to change this perception. We can help students realize that chemistry studies stimulate new ways of thinking, illustrate how chemistry can benefit society, and involve undergraduates in research.
A second challenge is that pursuing a research active academic career has become more complex and stressful. Applying for funding has turned into an increasingly time consuming and bureaucratic process, and faculty can become overwhelmed with other tasks that have little to do with science. This trend may discourage some talented graduate students and postdocs from pursuing an academic career.
Apart from materials chemistry, what are you passionate about?
My enthusiasm for working with graduate, undergraduate students and postdocs, and mentoring them in a research setting has never diminished. Seeing young researchers grow scientifically and personally over the years, and then start their own independent career is one of the greatest satisfactions of working in academia. In my opinion, this one of the greatest contributions a scientist can make. Not to mention that working with young people keeps you young … well, at least young at heart!
About the Journal
ACS Applied Optical Materials is an international and interdisciplinary forum to publish original experimental and theoretical, including simulation and modeling, research in optical materials, complementing the ACS Applied Materials portfolio. With a focus on innovative applications, ACS Applied Optical Materials also complements and expands the scope of existing ACS publications that focus on fundamental aspects of the interaction between light and matter in materials science including ACS Photonics, Macromolecules, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, ACS Nano and Nano Letters.
Visit the journal website to learn more about the scope, to view the author guidelines or to submit your manuscript. Sign up to receive journal e-alerts to receive the first Issue straight to your inbox.