Mankind's fascination with shapes and patterns, many examples of which come from nature, has greatly influenced areas such as art and architecture. Science too has long since been interested in the origin of shapes and structures found in nature. Whereas organic chemistry in general, and supramolecular chemistry especially, has been very successful in creating large superstructures of often stunning morphology, inorganic chemistry has lagged behind. Over the last decade, however, researchers in various fields of chemistry have been studying novel methods through which the shape of inorganic materials can be controlled at the micro- or even nanoscopic level. A method that has proven very successful is the formation of inorganic structures under the influence of (bio)organic templates, which has resulted in the generation of a large variety of structured inorganic structures that are currently unattainable through any other method.
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