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Surface modification of nanoparticles will present great challenges due to their extremely small dimensions, high surface areas, and high surface energies. In this research, we demonstrate the uniform deposition of ultrathin polymer films of 2 nm on the surfaces of alumina nanoparticles. The deposited film can also be tailored to multilayers. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy was used to confirm the pyrrole thin film on the nanoparticle surfaces. Using such a nanocoating, it is possible to alter the intrinsic properties of materials that cannot be achieved by conventional methods and materials. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.