Sol-Gel processing methods, first used historically for decorative and constructional materials, were extensively developed in the last century for applications such as glasses, ceramics, catalysts, coatings, composites and fibres. Today they are reaching their full potential, enabling the preparation of new generations of advanced materials not easily accessible by other methods yet using mild, low-energy conditions. The topic is therefore increasingly included in advanced undergraduate, MSc and PhD programmes in the areas of chemistry, physics and materials science. This concise introductory text, written at the advanced undergraduate/first-year postgraduate level, is also suitable as an introduction to the development, mechanisms, chemistry, characterisation methods and applications of the technique. It provides readers with an extensive yet concise grounding in the theory of each area of the subject and details the real and potential applications and the future prospects of sol-gel chemistry.