Through synthetic architecture and functionalization with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), complex nanocomposite films of SAM/Pt/ZnO/SiO2 have been facilely prepared in this work. The nanostructured films are highly uniform and porous, showing a wide range of tunable wettabilities from superhydrophilicity to superhydrophobicity (water contact angles: 0° to 170°). Our approach offers synthetic flexibility in controlling film architecture, surface topography, coating texture, crystallite size, and chemical composition of modifiers (e.g., SAMs derived from alkanethiols). For example, wettability properties of the nanocomposite films can be finely tuned with both inorganic phase (i.e., ZnO/SiO2 and Pt/ZnO/SiO2) and organic phase (i.e., SAMs on Pt/ZnO/SiO2). Due to the presence of catalytic components Pt/ZnO within the nanocomposites, surface reactions of the organic modifiers can further take place at room temperature and elevated temperatures, which provides a means for SAM formation and elimination. Because the Pt/ZnO forms an excellent pair of metal-semiconductors for photocatalysis, the anchored SAMs can also be modified or depleted by UV irradiation (i.e., the films possess self-cleaning ability). Potential applications of these nanocomposite films have been addressed. Our durability tests also confirm that the films are thermally stable and structurally robust in modification- regeneration cycles. © 2008 American Chemical Society.