Researchers develop biorenewable, biodegradable plastics

Researchers Haritz Sardón, Ainara Sangroniz and Agustin Etxeberria at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Chemistry, together with the researchers Eugene Y.-X. Chen, Jian-Bo Zhu and Xiaoyan Tang at Colorado State University (U.S.), ...

What does the future of plastic look like?

Plastic waste is a growing problem around the world, despite efforts to recycle or reduce plastic use. In order to really transform the recycling process, more attention needs to be paid to the composition of plastic, according ...

Chemists obtain new material for antibacterial food coatings

RUDN University chemists have developed a simple and convenient method for producing derivatives of the natural polymer chitosan. These derivatives are non-toxic and have a pronounced antibacterial activity at the level of ...

Bottom-up synthesis of crystalline 2-D polymers

Scientists at the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed) at TU Dresden have succeeded in synthesizing sheet-like 2-D polymers by a bottom-up process for the first time. A novel synthetic reaction route was developed ...

page 1 from 23

Polymer

A polymer (from Greek πολύ-ς /po΄li-s/ much, many and μέρος /΄meros/ part) is a large molecule (macromolecule) composed of repeating structural units typically connected by covalent chemical bonds. While polymer in popular usage suggests plastic, the term actually refers to a large class of natural and synthetic materials with a variety of properties.

Due to the extraordinary range of properties accessible in polymeric materials , they have come to play an essential and ubiquitous role in everyday life - from plastics and elastomers on the one hand to natural biopolymers such as DNA and proteins that are essential for life on the other. A simple example is polyethylene, whose repeating unit is based on ethylene (IUPAC name ethene) monomer. Most commonly, as in this example, the continuously linked backbone of a polymer consists mainly of carbon atoms. However, other structures do exist; for example, elements such as silicon form familiar materials such as silicones, examples being silly putty and waterproof plumbing sealant. The backbone of DNA is in fact based on a phosphodiester bond, and repeating units of polysaccharides (e.g. cellulose) are joined together by glycosidic bonds via oxygen atoms.

Natural polymeric materials such as shellac, amber, and natural rubber have been in use for centuries. Biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids play crucial roles in biological processes. A variety of other natural polymers exist, such as cellulose, which is the main constituent of wood and paper.

The list of synthetic polymers includes synthetic rubber, Bakelite, neoprene, nylon, PVC, polystyrene, polyacrylonitrile, PVB, silicone, and many more.

Polymers are studied in the fields of polymer chemistry, polymer physics, and polymer science.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA