This special issue of Topics in Catalysis contains 17 articles based on mostly the oral presentations of the 33rd European Conference of Surface Science (ECOSS-33), held in Szeged (Hungary) between 27 August and 1 September, 2017. ECOSS is a traditional annual meeting directed jointly by the Surface Science Division of the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Application (IUVSTA) and the Surface and Interface Section of the European Physics Society (EPS). The conference provided an excellent opportunity for scientists from Europe and from all over the world to meet and discuss the latest advances in surface physics/chemistry and the progress of the surface science approach of the related innovation fields of heterogeneous catalysis, nano-electronics, bio-nanoscience and light-matter nanotechnology. The challenging subject of ECOSS-33 attracted a keen interest and gathered 357 participants from 29 countries in Szeged. The oral presentations and posters were divided to 23 scientific topics. The biggest delegation arrived from Germany, Japan, Poland, Hungary, France, United Kingdom and Austria. The plenary lectures were given by excellent, world famous scientists in the field: Jürgen Behm (Germany), Charlie T. Campbell (USA), Young Kuk (Korea), Elisa Molinari (Italy), Rasmita Raval (United Kingdom), Gabor A. Somorjai (USA), and Martin Wolf (Germany). In addition, five keynote lectures and 29 invited talks increased the scientific level of the conference. An industrial producer exhibition took also place during the Conference bringing together 14 companies. The participation costs were supported for nine young scientist by IUVSTA and EPS. As a tradition of ECOSS conferences, the ECOSS Prize to the best young oral speaker and the Poster Prize to the best student presenter were also handed over during the closing ceremony. This occasion, the President of the Hungarian Vacuum Society awarded also two excellent young presenters from Hungary.
The participants of the 33rd European Conference on Surface Science (ECOSS-33) were invited to submit the manuscripts based on their presentations. The chairman of the Conference, the members of the Organizing Committees appreciate the opportunity to publish the selected manuscripts in the journal of Topics in Catalysis. We, as guest editors, would like also thank all authors and referees who contributed to the papers of this special issue.