Catechol-based layer-by-layer assembly of composite coatings: a versatile platform to hierarchical nano-materials†
Inspired by the marine mussel's ability to adhere to surfaces underwater, an aqueous catechol-based dip coating platform was developed. Using a catechol-functionalized polyacrylamide binder in combination with inorganic nanoparticles enables the facile fabrication of robust composite coatings via a layer-by-layer process. This modular assembly of well-defined building blocks provides a versatile alternative to electrostatic driven approaches with layer thickness and refractive indices being readily tunable. The platform nature of this approach enables the fabrication of hierarchically ordered nano-materials such as Bragg stacks.