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The rapidly growing interest in novel low-temperature, solution-based synthesis of functional materials is reflected in this volume from the Materials Research Society. A recurring theme of the book is 'materials design.' The great versatility of organic/inorganic hybrids lies in the range of properties afforded by the combination of organic and inorganic constituents, and in the multiple length scales - from atomic, through molecular and mesoscopic, to micro- and macroscopic - over which the chemical interactions and structure of the materials may be controlled. Reflecting the symposium's origins in the Better Ceramics Through Chemistry series of the late 1980s and early 1990s, a significant number of papers deal with the chemistry of salines and other organometallic compounds. Topics include: synthesis and processing; novel ordered hybrid structures, layered structures and organic monolayers; nonsilicate hybrid materials; meso-, micro- and macroporous hybrids; hybrid electrochemistry, photochemistry and passivation; mechanical properties and applications; and biomedical, electronic and optical applications of hybrid materials.
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