Porphyrins and porphyrin-related compounds are among the most significant compounds to be found in nature. Owing to their numerous outstanding properties, including their highly conjugated system and structural robustness, their absorption and emission properties, their rich metal coordination chemistry and their virtually unlimited library of substituents, porphyrins have been chosen by nature in numerous various processes such as light harvesting (e.g. chlorophyll) and respiration (e.g. haemoglobin and cytochrome). If a large number of studies have investigated the use of porpyhrins for various different applications, porphyrin compounds are still far to have revealed their full potentials. The POLYPORPH project aims at investigating the chemical vapor deposition of porphyrin building blocks for the growth of a new generation of functional metal–organic network coatings.