A new sol-gel synthesis procedure is proposed for the preparation of MoVSbOx catalysts for the selective oxidation of isobutane. Physico-chemical characterization of the materials calcined at 400 degreesC, showed essentially amorphous catalysts, with long-range order. Increase of calcination temperature, however, resulted in the formation of small crystalline regions, confirmed through TEM. EPR measurements on the calcined samples pointed to the presence of isolated and magnetically interacting V(IV) species. The reported catalysts proved to be much more selective for partial oxidation compared to a literature reference catalyst. Furthermore, it is shown that this versatile synthesis recipe forms an excellent start for high-throughput and combinatorial studies. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.