This special issue of Advanced Materials Letters contains selected peer-reviewed papers presented in the '1st International Congress on Advanced Materials 2011' which was held during May 13-16, 2011 at Jinan Nanjiao Hotel, Jinan, Shandong, China. This congress was jointly organized by the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM), University of Jinan (UJN, Shandong, China), the Advanced Materials Letters (AML, www.amlett.com, www.vbripress.com), Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and Materials (JIOPM)-Springer, the Chinese Ceramic Society and Key Laboratory for Liquid-Solid Structural Evolution and Processing of Materials (Shandong University), Ministry of Education, China. The congress was also supported by Polymers & Polymer Composites (PPC), Advanced Materials Research (AMR) and Journal of Materials Chemistry (JMC)-RSC Publishing. The purpose of congress was to provide a forum for the rapidly expanding field of Advanced Materials across the world, focusing on specific aspects of Polymers, Composite materials, Magnetic materials, Structured materials, Constructional materials, Biomaterials, Energy harvesting materials and energy transfer-materials, Optical and electronic materials, Environmental and green materials etc. at macro and nano levels.