Development of polyelectrolyte multilayer films and their applications to analytical chemistry (Review)

Jun Ichi Anzai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The development of polyelectrolyte multilayer films (PEM) is reviewed in relation to their applications to analytical chemistry. PEMs are constructed by a layer-by-layer deposition of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes on a solid surface from aqueous solutions. The PEM films are formed through an electrostatic force of attraction between polycation and polyanion. The structure of PEM films depends significantly on the properties of the bathing solution, including the concentration of polyelectrolytes, ionic strength, and pH. High ionic strength solutions usually result in thicker film. It is known that hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions also play a role as a secondary force in addition to the electrostatic interactions. Functional PEMs have been prepared using charged dyes, metal and inorganic particles, DNA, proteins, and virus. Analytical applications of PEM include coating the inner wall of capillaries for electrophoretic separation, pervaporation films for alcohol/water purification, sensitive layers of gas and humidity sensors, surface modification of functional electrodes, and ion-sensitive PEMs for optical ion sensors. Protein-containing PEMs are finding wide applications to immuno sensors, enzyme sensors, bioreactors, and bio-fuel cells, in which proteins are still active in the PEM films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-594
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Layer-by-layer deposition
  • Polyelectrolyte multilayer film
  • Protein film
  • Separation and purification
  • Thin film, dye film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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