Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) solution containing the iron oxide precursor iron (III) acetylacetonate (AAI) was electrospun and thermally treated to produce electrically conducting, magnetic carbon nanofiber mats with hierarchical pore structures. The morphology and material properties of the resulting multifunctional nanofiber mats including the surface area and the electric and magnetic properties were examined using various characterization techniques. Scanning electron microscopy images show that uniform fibers were produced with a fiber diameter of similar to 600 nm, and this uniform fiber morphology is maintained after graphitization with a fiber diameter of similar to 330 nm. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman studies reveal that both graphite and Fe(3)O(4) crystals are formed after thermal treatment, and graphitization can be enhanced by the presence of iron. A combination of XRD and transmission electron microscopy experiments reveals the formation of pores with graphitic nanoparticles in the walls as well as the formation of magnetite nanoparticles distributed throughout the fibers. Physisorption experiments show that the multifunctional fiber mats exhibit a high surface area (200-400 m(2) g(-1)) and their pore size is dependent on the amount of iron added and graphitization conditions. Finally, we have demonstrated that the fibers are electrically conducting as well as magnetically active.