Templated mesoporous materials have attracted a lot of attention from the scientific community since their introduction in 1992 by researchers at Mobil [2] although synthesis of similar materials had been reported earlier in the

literature dating back to a patent filed in 1969 [3] which was later shown to yield a material with the same properties as MCM-41 [4] and the synthesis of FSM-16 in 1990 [5]. Several synthesis procedures have been proposed since then, using a variety of surfactant-inorganic pairs. Although some syntheses have been performed using a

true liquid crystal templating

technique [6] where the initial surfactant solution is at a high enough concentration to form liquid crystal phases, most syntheses start with a dilute surfactant solution [7]. In this case, the final structure of the porous solid does not resemble the micellar structure in the surfactant solution used for the synthesis. The prediction of the final structure of the porous materials is complicated because the physics underlying these syntheses is not well understood, mainly due to the overlapping self-assembly and inorganic polymerization processes.