The chemistry of solid inorganic materials has become a central theme in research and in the teaching of chemistry. This area is, however, ignored by the main inorganic text books which concentrate almost solely on molecular inorganic chemistry. The primer fills this gap by producing a text which can be bought alongside the major texts, by a student on a budget, with coverage of the most salient points in an undergraduate course on solid materials. Topics include transition metal oxides, non-stoichiometry, zeolites, layer compounds chemistry, high temperature superconductors and fullerides. In addition the synthesis of these compound types is presented. As well as introducing and describing important solid state materials, the primer addresses the major experimental technique used to study and characterise the powder x-ray diffraction. The basis of this method and associated relevant crystallography is discussed; experimental data from this technique is used to illustrate topics throughout the primer. This tying together of an experimental method and the chemistry is a much needed approach, reflecting the true need of the chemist and the method by which chemistry is taught.