• Layer-by-layer assembly;
  • inorganic multilayers;
  • oxidative film;
  • polypyrrole


A controlled nanoscale fabrication of conducting polymer films sets severe requirements for the preparation method and substrate. A new and versatile approach for producing thin polypyrrole films on a variety of surfaces is presented. Purely inorganic thin films are first prepared from poly(metaphosphate) and tetravalent metal ions using a sequential layer-by-layer technique. Redox-active cerium(IV) polyphosphate multilayer and redox-inactive zirconium(IV) and hafnium(IV) polyphosphate multilayers are prepared. Cerium-based polyphosphate films grow exponentially with the number of layers but multilayers containing zirconium or hafnium exhibit a linear buildup process. All the studied systems produce relatively smooth films with initial bilayer thickness less than 2 nm. The cerium(IV) containing film is redox-active, which is shown by its capability to form a polypyrrole layer on its surface by oxidation of pyrrole monomers in the adjacent aqueous solution. This is a general method to produce thin oxidative films of arbitrary size and form on a wide variety of surfaces.