Chemistry and applications of inorganic-organic polymers -organically modified silicates-
The combination of inorganic polymeric networks with organic components leads to inorganic-organic polymers. A convenient method for the introduction of organic radials into an inorganic backbone is the use of organo-substituted silico esters in a polycondensation process. This leads to "Si-O-Si" network containing materials, so-called organically modified silicates (ORMOSILs). For the synthesis of the inorganic backbone, in opposition to the high temperature preparation of non-metallic inorganic materials like ceramics, "soft chemistry" methods have to be applied in order to preserve organic groupings to be incorporated. Therefore, the sol-gel process is a suitable technique (1-5). A review over basic synthesis principles and chemical methods, their effect on special material properties and the application potential will be given.