There have been great advances in our understanding and use of inorganic carbon in recent years, following the development of the vapour synthesis of diamond, the discovery of C60 molecule and the discovery of carbon nanotubes.This issue contains the papers from the Symposium K Carbon-based Materials for Microelectronics of the European Materials Research Society meeting which was held on 16-19 June 1998, Strasbourg, France. The symposium covered fullerenes, nanotubes, diamond and amorphous carbon. It was able to show the similarities between the sp2 and sp3 forms of carbon, and between the crystalline, nano-structured and amorphous forms. Carbon is unique in having such a range of covalently bonded forms. The symposium consisted of 34 oral papers, of which 10 were invited, and 35 poster papers. The papers in this proceedings cover many of the recent developments in carbon, for example the effect of doping on the electronic structure of nanotubes, the discovery of phosphorus doping of diamond, the surface structure and electronic structure of diamond, and the field emission properties of diamond and diamond-like carbon. The applications of carbon lag some way behind those of other materials, but the symposium highlighted the uses or potential of carbon in xerography, in field emission displays and in photoconductivity-based sensors and radiation detectors.