Gel architectures and their complexity
Gels have made the transition from brittle materials with few potential applications to high performance systems with mechanical properties approaching that of rubber. They have a wide variety of structures and provide the opportunity to tailor these structures to achieve well-controlled properties over a range of length scales. In this review we consider and compare the structures and properties of a range of gels that have been studied in recent years. In comparing these gels we highlight the importance of key structural parameters in defining gel mechanical properties. It is hoped that this article will provide authors who discover new gels a resource that will easily enable them to determine the differences of their new gels to existing gels.