A method of depositing contiguous, conformal submonolayer-to-multilayer thin films with atomic-level control is described. The process involves electrochemically exchanging a mediating element on a substrate with a noble metal film by alternatingly sweeping potential in forward and reverse directions for a predetermined number of times in an electrochemical cell. By cycling the applied voltage between the bulk deposition potential for the mediating element and the material to be deposited, repeated desorption/adsorption of the mediating element during each potential cycle can be used to precisely control film growth on a layer-by-layer basis.
 This invention was made with Government support under contract numbers DE-ACO2-98CH10886 and DE-SC0012704 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.