Highly-organized stacked multilayers via layer-by-layer assembly of lipid-like surfactants and polyelectrolytes. Stratified supramolecular structures for (bio)electrochemical nanoarchitectonics†
Supramolecular self-assembly is of paramount importance for the development of novel functional materials with molecular-level feature control. In particular, the interest in creating well-defined stratified multilayers through simple methods using readily available building blocks is motivated by a multitude of research activities in the field of “nanoarchitectonics” as well as evolving technological applications. Herein, we report on the facile preparation and application of highly organized stacked multilayers via layer-by-layer assembly of lipid-like surfactants and polyelectrolytes. Polyelectrolyte multilayers with high degree of stratification of the internal structure were constructed through consecutive assembly of polyallylamine and dodecyl phosphate, a lipid-like surfactant that act as a structure-directing agent. We show that multilayers form well-defined lamellar hydrophilic/hydrophobic domains oriented parallel to the substrate. More important, X-ray reflectivity characterization conclusively revealed the presence of Bragg peaks up to fourth order, evidencing the highly stratified structure of the multilayer. Additionally, hydrophobic lamellar domains were used as hosts for ferrocene in order to create an electrochemically active film displaying spatially-addressed redox units. Stacked multilayers were then assembled integrating redox-tagged polyallylamine and glucose oxidase into the stratified hydrophilic domains. Bioelectrocatalysis and “redox wiring” in the presence of glucose was demonstrated to occur inside the stratified multilayer.