We are principally interested in exploring the interface between traditional inorganic chemistry and materials science. To this end, techniques for studying the reactivity, structure, and bonding of inorganic complexes, which have their roots in traditional inorganic chemistry, are applied to important classes of inorganic materials. From the understanding gleaned from such studies, new and potentially useful materials can ultimately be engineered. Particular classes of materials that are both technologically important and amenable to study by our approach are glasses derived from the sol-gel process. This process utilizes the condensation reactions of silicon or metal alkoxides to afford a low-temperature, synthetically flexible route to inorganic glasses and ceramics. For the synthesis of a silicate glass, for example, tetramethylorthosilicate is simply treated with water, which causes it to gel. The gelled materials are then aged and dried, producing a material known as a “xerogel.” Xerogels are hard and optically transparent much like conventional silicate glass; however, they are also highly porous, allowing small molecules to permeate them. By exploiting the synthetic flexibility of the sol-gel process, we have succeeded in incorporating a broad range of transition metal centers into the silica matrix.