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The oxalate and carbonate precursors of cerium and zirconium have been prepared using reverse micelles as nanoreactors. Cerium oxalate precursor on thermal decomposition leads to a mixture of nanorods and nanoparticles of cerium oxide (nanoparticles of 10 nm and nanorods with 7 nm diameter and 30 nm length). Cerium oxide with crystallite size of 10 nm was obtained from cerium carbonate precursor. Monodispersed nanoparticles of zirconia with an average size of 3–5 and 12 nm were obtained from the oxalate and carbonate precursor, respectively. Detailed dielectric properties of sintered discs of nanocrystalline ceria and zirconia have been studied with variation of frequency and temperature.