The review briefly summarizes the most exciting current trends in a broad area of inorganic and organometallic chemistry of silicates and aluminosilicates. The coverage of subjects is not exhaustive but rather selective due to the great extent of this field. Chosen topics illustrate current achievements and possible directions of future development that include silicon compounds with coordination numbers five and six, silicon with unusual N and S ligand environments, improved characterization techniques for oligomeric silicate species in solution and the gas phase, synthesis and structure of polysilanols and their derivatives, such as metallasilicates and silsesquioxanes, and their application in homogeneous and heterogeneous polymerization catalysis. Relevant advances in surface organometallic chemistry of silica, new sol-gel routes to oxide and hybrid materials based on hydrolytic and non-hydrolytic reactions, synthesis of mesoporous silica and chemical modifications of its intrapore surface, and synthesis of molecular models of zeolite building units are also highlighted. Developments in mass spectrometry (SIMS) with heavy projectiles and advanced NMR spectroscopic characterization methods that allow better characterization of silicates finish this overview. References cover the most pertinent reports and review articles past 1993.
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