In this interview, Dr. Müller-Buschbaum discusses new and exciting research we can expect from ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces as he begins his new role as Deputy Editor.
Dr. Müller-Buschbaum is a full professor in the Physics Department of Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany, heading the Chair of Functional Materials. He studied physics in Kiel, Germany and went on to earn his doctorate there in 1996. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany and as visiting scientist at the Institut Laue-Langevin and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France. He acquired his postdoctoral teaching qualification (Habilitation) in 2002 and headed the Chair of Functional Materials at the TUM, before his appointment as full professor in 2018. From 2018 to 2023, he was the scientific director of the Munich neutron source FRM II at TUM and of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz center MLZ.
From 2012 to 2022, he served as Associate Editor and in 2023 as Executive Editor of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
We recently caught up with Dr. Müller-Buschbaum to learn more about his areas of study, what he hopes to bring to the journal as Deputy Editor, and some of his most rewarding research accomplishments.
What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities in the field of materials science and engineering today?
New materials enable new applications and have the power to change our world and daily life by enabling things, which were impossible so far. This happens in every area in small and large steps. The biggest challenges are perhaps linked with energy materials for energy conversion and storage.
What new and exciting things can we expect from the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces?
With the focus of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces on how newly-discovered materials and interfacial processes can be developed and used for specific applications, it will break ground for new breakthroughs. Together with the new Editor-in-Chief Xing Yi Ling, we will move forward fostering a culture of excellence, collaboration, and innovation within our community.
What new areas of research are you looking forward to seeing published in the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces?
The strength of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is its interdisciplinary community of chemists, engineers, physicists and biologists, which cover a wide breath of topics centered on the application aspect. Newly emerging areas will potentially couple different applications into a single one like for example energy conversion and textiles.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My own research interests focus on functional materials with the emphasis on their application. This covers polymer and hybrid materials for energy and sensing applications with a special focus on thin films and nanostructures, including kinetic, in situ, and operando experiments. My research group pioneered the testing of next generation solar cells like organic and perovskite solar cells in space during a sounding rocket flight. They performed very well and it can lay the ground for using these novel solar cell technologies in space applications in the future.
How do you spend your “free” time? Any hobbies?
I actually like hiking, which is a good balance to working in front of the computer. I also really enjoy photography, which helps me to be more aware of the things around me.