Polymers, Fractals, and Ceramic Materials

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Science  24 Feb 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4894, pp. 1023-1027
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4894.1023


Concepts borrowed from polymer science have been applied to tailor the properties of inorganic materials, especially those derived from amorphous precursors. Fractal geometry can be used to characterize macromolecular precursors and to relate their structures to kinetic growth processes. Within the silica system, for example, it is possible to manipulate the conditions of solution polymerization to yield a variety of macromolecules from branched chains to smooth colloidal particles.