Ultra-thin hybrid and/or microporous materials and methods for their fabrication are provided. In one embodiment, the exemplary hybrid membranes can be formed including successive surface activation and reaction steps on a porous support that is patterned or non-patterned. The surface activation can be performed using remote plasma exposure to locally activate the exterior surfaces of porous support. Organic/inorganic hybrid precursors such as organometallic silane precursors can be condensed on the locally activated exterior surfaces, whereby ALD reactions can then take place between the condensed hybrid precursors and a reactant. Various embodiments can also include an intermittent replacement of ALD precursors during the membrane formation so as to enhance the hybrid molecular network of the membranes.
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. EY-16570 awarded by the National Institutes of Health, and Grant No. DE-FG02-02ER15368 awarded by the Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.