A sol-gel method is described based on the use of organic complexing agents in liquid solution, such as citric acid, ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) and others. It is shown how the procedures can be designed on a scientific basis, using pM'-pH diagrams for the respective cation and complexing agent. This technique yields powders and sintered materials with superior properties to the dry mix and calcine method. An important advantage of the method is its versatility due to the fact that stable complexes can be formed for a wide range of elements. Precise control of stoichiometry is possible, however the residual carbon level is more difficult to control.