The three natural streams of present-day chemistry are Structure, Dynamics and Synthesis and all these three elements are essential for the study of materials, particularly in the solid state. The solid state provides challenging opportunities for illustrating and applying principles of chemistry to systems of academic interest and techlogical importance. There are several practising solid state chemists in universities and research laboratories, but the subject has t yet become part of the formal training program in chemistry. Being one of the new frontiers of chemistry, Solid State Chemistry has a tremendous future and undoubtedly demands the active involvement of many more chemists. A Winter School in Solid State Chemistry was organized at the Indian Institute of Techlogy, Kanpur, to promote this area and to develop curricular material. Solid State Chemistry being lighly interdisciplinary in nature, the lecturers and participants at the Winter School had widely different backgrounds and interests. It was my great desire that the lecture material from the Winter School should become available to a larger body of students, teachers and research workers interested in the solid state and hence this volume.