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In the past two decades, layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly has been proven to be a convenient and versatile method to fabricate functional films. However, using traditional dipping LbL assembly to fabricate micrometer-thick films is time consuming. Compared with ultrathin films, micrometer-thick films prepared by LbL assembly possess enhanced mechanical stability, and allow deposition of a significantly increased amount of materials and the integration of multiple functions. These merits of thick films produced by LbL assembly can result in new functions and allow the functions of ultrathin films fabricated by LbL assembly to be optimized. In this tutorial review, the methods for rapid fabrication of thick polymeric films involving LbL assembly are reviewed. The functions of such films that are relevant to their micrometer thickness are discussed.
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