Hybrid materials consist of both organic and inorganic components. They may offer a desired functionality or superior characteristics compared to their building blocks or other, simpler materials if the components are well chosen. Such materials are currently having a great impact on numerous future developments, including nanotechnology. Filling the gap for a compact text that presents the topic from a general point of view while adopting a didactic approach, this book is an overview of the different types of materials, clearly structured into synthesis, characterization and applications. As such, it represents a perfect introduction for the scientist starting in the field, while also being an invaluable source of high quality information for the expert. For materials scientists, as well as inorganic, solid state, organic and polymer chemists. Guido Kickelbick is assistant professor at the Institute of Materials Chemistry of the Vienna University of Technology (Austria). Born in Hamm, he studied chemistry at the University of Würzburg (Germany). He carried out his PhD thesis in the group of Ulrich Schubert at the University of Würzburg and the Vienna University of Technology on sol-gel derived surface-modified metal oxo clusters. After receiving his PhD degree in 1997 he was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship with Krzysztof Matyjaszewski at the Center for Macromolecular Engineering at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (USA) on the application of controlled radical polymerization in the formation of hybrid materials. In 1998 he returned back to the Vienna University of Technology where he worked since then in the field of hybrid materials and nanocomposites as well as surface-functionalized nanoparticles with a particular focus ion the combination of organic polymers with inorganic components. Guido Kickelbick has published more than 150 papers on different aspects of inorganic, polymer and materials chemistry.