Compositions, systems and methods are described for condensed phase conversion and growth of nanorods and other materials. A composition includes a plurality of nanorods that define a local volume, said local volume including a fraction, said plurality of nanorods within at least said fraction of said local volume interrelated to define (a) a substantially random distribution of intersection angles between said plurality of nanorods and (b) a localized packing density greater than 50% of a theoretical maximum packing density, which does not account for any voids within said plurality of nanorods. The compositions are very strong. The compositions and methods provide advantages because they allow (1) formation rates of nanostructures necessary for reasonable production rates, and (2) the near net shaped production of component structures.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with Government support under contract No. DE-AC05-96OR22464 awarded by the United States Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation, and Contract No. DE-AC05-84OR21400 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc., and the Government has certain rights in this invention.