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High throughput (combinatorial) materials science methodology is a relatively new research paradigm that offers the promise of rapid and efficient materials screening, optimization, and discovery. The paradigm started in the pharmaceutical industry but was rapidly adopted to accelerate materials research in a wide variety of areas. High throughput experiments are characterized by synthesis of a “library” sample that contains the materials variation of interest (typically composition), and rapid and localized measurement schemes that result in massive data sets. Because the data are collected at the same time on the same “library” sample, they can be highly uniform with respect to fixed processing parameters. This article critically reviews the literature pertaining to applications of combinatorial materials science for electronic, magnetic, optical, and energy-related materials. It is expected that high throughput methodologies will facilitate commercialization of novel materials for these critically important applications. Despite the overwhelming evidence presented in this paper that high throughput studies can effectively inform commercial practice, in our perception, it remains an underutilized research and development tool. Part of this perception may be due to the inaccessibility of proprietary industrial research and development practices, but clearly the initial cost and availability of high throughput laboratory equipment plays a role. Combinatorialmaterials science has traditionally been focused on materials discovery, screening, and optimization to combat the extremely high cost and long development times for new materialsand their introduction into commerce. Going forward, combinatorial materials science will also be driven by other needs such as materials substitution and experimental verification ofmaterials properties predicted by modeling and simulation, which have recently received much attention with the advent of the Materials Genome Initiative. Thus, the challenge for combinatorial methodology will be the effective coupling of synthesis, characterization and theory, and the ability to rapidly manage large amounts of data in a variety of formats.