Interfacial polymerization of dopamine and terephtaloyl chloride is performed on a porous crosslinked polyacrylonitrile support membrane. The resulting polymer layer has a smooth surface and is ultrathin (about 5 nm). The chemical nature of the interfacially polymerized layer is characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The thin-film composite membrane is stable in aggressive solvents like dimethylformamide (DMF) and the membrane shows high solvent permeances combined with a molecular weight cut-off below 800 g mol-1. The remarkable stability in DMF, the ease of preparation as well as the extremely thin and smooth selective layer make this new type of bioinspired membrane attractive for solvent resistant nanofiltration. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.