The science and technology of thin films have advanced so rapidly in recent years that investigators are now specializing, responding to the growing need to understand the properties of films of various compositions and thicknesses. Of particular scientific and technological promise are organic thin filmsgrown by the classical dipping technique developed during the period 1917–35 by Irving Langmuir and Katharine Blodgett. By building multiplayer films on solid surfaces from monolayerfilms on water, investigators are now developing and studying innovative materials with a wide range of potential technological applications, including molecular electronics, microelectronics, integrated optics and microlithography. Inorganic thin films of materials such as silicon dioxide have made possible the very‐large‐scale integration of electronic circuits. If the device geometries in these circuits shrink to nanometer dimensions over the next several decades, as some expect, Langmuir‐Blodgett films with nanometer dimensions and a high degree of structural order will be of special importance.
Thin organic films deposited on solids from the surface of water may have applications in technologies ranging from molecular electronics and microelectronics to integrated optics and microlithography.