The first sol-gel synthesis of silica was described by J.J. Ebelmen about 150 years ago. He noticed that silicic esters (or alkoxides) hydrolyze slowly in the presence of moisture to give hydrated silica [1]. The synthesis and chemical properties of metal alkoxides were extensively studied much later, in the seventies [2]. However this work was restricted to the community of molecular chemists and materials scientists became really interested by alkoxides precursors in the late eighties [3].


Alkoxy Group Metal Alkoxide Glass Producer Titanium Alkoxide Molecular Precursor 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

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  • J. Livage

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