The synthesis of materials via self-assembly typically involves the spontaneous and reversible organization of small building blocks for the purpose of creating conglomerate structures over larger length scales. This introductory article describes self-assembly processes on several length scales, from subnanometer up to millimeter scales, and briefly summarizes some of the incredible diversity of materials that exhibit selfassembly. Articles in this issue cover self-assembly using zeolitic structures, organic molecular crystals, block copolymers, surfactants, mesoscale templates, and soluble crystallization additives. Keywords: block copolymers, materials synthesis, self-assembly, surfactants, templates, zeolites.
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