Association of tannic acid (TA) with structurally isomeric poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and poly(2-isopropyl-2-oxazoline) (PIPOX) has been examined at surfaces to understand the effect of different molecular arrangements in a polymer repeating unit of structural isomers on the construction and pH-stability of hydrogen-bonded multilayers. Films were fabricated using layer-by-layer (LbL) technique through hydrogen-bonding interactions primarily between carbonyl groups of neutral polymers and hydroxyl groups of TA molecules at pH 2. PIPOX and TA formed thinner and more stable films in the pH scale with a critical dissolution pH of 9 when compared to films of PNIPAM and TA with a critical pH of 8. The differences in the thickness and pH-stability were due to different conformational behavior of PNIPAM and PIPOX in water which affects the accessibility of carbonyl groups for participation in the hydrogen bonding and the number of binding sites between the polymer pairs. Addition of electrostatic interactions by introducing amino groups only at the PIPOX chain end shifted the critical dissolution pH to higher values and resulted in gradual dissolution of the films in a wide pH range of 9-12. Such films hold promise for use in biomedical field due to biocompatibility and lower critical solution temperature (LCST) behavior at near physiological temperature of PNIPAM and PIPOX together with the pH-response of the hydrogen-bonded films. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.