Layer-by-layer assembly of versatile nanoarchitectures with diverse dimensionality: a new perspective for rational construction of multilayer assemblies
Over the past few decades, layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of multilayer thin films has garnered considerable interest on account of its ability to modulate nanometer control over film thickness and its extensive choice of usable materials for coating planar and particulate substrates, thus allowing for the fabrication of responsive and functional thin films for their potential applications in a myriad of fields. Herein, we provide elaborate information on the current developments of LbL assembly techniques including different properties, molecular interactions, and assembly methods associated with this promising bottom-up strategy. In particular, we highlight the principle for rational design and fabrication of a large variety of multilayer thin film systems including multi-dimensional capsules or spatially hierarchical nanostructures based on the LbL assembly technique. Moreover, we discuss how to judiciously choose the building block pairs when exerting the LbL assembly buildup which enables the engineering of multilayer thin films with tailor-made physicochemical properties. Furthermore, versatile applications of the diverse LbL-assembled nanomaterials are itemized and elucidated in light of specific technological fields. Finally, we provide a brief perspective and potential future challenges of the LbL assembly technology. It is anticipated that our current review could provide a wealth of guided information on the LbL assembly technique and furnish firm grounds for rational design of LbL assembled multilayer assemblies toward tangible applications.