Layer-by-layer assemblies in nanoporous templates : nano-organized design and applications of soft nanotechnology

Azzaroni, O. and Lau, K. H. A. (2011) Layer-by-layer assemblies in nanoporous templates : nano-organized design and applications of soft nanotechnology. Soft Matter, 7. pp. 8709-8724. ISSN 1744-6848

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    Abstract

    The synergistic combination of layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly and nanoporous membrane templating has greatly facilitated the creation of complex and functional nanotubular structures. The approach takes advantage of both the new properties conferred by assembling diverse LbL building blocks and the tight dimensional control offered by nanotemplating to enable new functionalities that arise from the highly anisotropic "one-dimensional'' LbL-nanotube format. In this review, we aim to convey the key developments and provide a current snap-shot of such templated LbL nanoarchitectures. We survey recent developments that have enabled the assembly of polymers, biomolecules and inorganic nanoparticles "a la carte'', via electrostatic, covalent and specific (bio)recognition interactions. We also discuss the emerging mechanistic understanding of the LbL assembly process within the nanopore environment. Finally, we present a diverse range of LbL nanotube "devices'' to illustrate the versatility of the nanotemplated LbL toolbox for generating functional soft nanotechnology.