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Finally, the chemical routes are simple and thus cost-effective when compared with the physical methods, which require sophisticated technology and expensive experimental set-ups. The synthesis of materials is achieved at relatively lower temperatures than those required for conventional processing methods, and it is possible to process large quantities and high throughput. Moreover, they offer enormous versatility with respect to composition, allowing, for instance, tailoring of the composition. It is possible to cosynthesize another material in the same medium. For this reason, various chemical routes have been proposed based on the application of molecular compounds to produce inorganic materials. A brief description of the common chemical methods (sol-gel, CVD, aerosol, microemulsion, and hydrothermal synthesis) applied to the synthesis of nanophase materials from molecular precursors is presented in the following section. In addition, some other methods (coprecip-itation and the polymeric precursor route) not using the single-source approach but based on a molecular-level mixing of the components are also discussed because examples taken for a comparative evaluation of conventional and molecular chemistry routes necessitates their understanding.

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