A novel preparation method for nanoporous structures, denoted “Gel Template Leaching”, is described. The approach is based on the gelation of solutions containing two low molecular weight compounds of which one is crystallizable and the other curable. Gelation of the solute upon cooling followed by curing of the solvent below the gelation temperature lead to the formation of a semi-IPN consisting of a reversibly and a covalently crosslinked network. After leaching of the solute (the template) a well-defined nanoporous architecture was formed. Functional pores could be obtained after charging the pore walls with ionic sites.