Research and development in the field of electroceramics is driven by technology and device applications. It includes research on a broad spectrum of inorganic materials, and it covers all scales from the level of the crystalline lattice to that of final devices. The applications find a place in an increasing number of domains, ranging from environment monitoring and transportation, through medicine and health-care, to electronics and communications. Two tendencies are emerging: surface and interface phenomena play an increasingly important role, motivated by the interest to integrate electroceramic functions into microelectronics and MEMS technologies as well as by the evolution of bulk products from discrete components into materials systems. Electroceramics are following conventional semiconductors with respect to down-scaling. Nano-size effects, nanotechnology related processes, and the use of new characterization techniques to reveal nanometric scale features are therefore gaining in importance. Recent research in electroceramics and evolving trends for the future are discussed in the context of these two issues. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.