Using machine learning to identify promising polymer membranes

Polymer membranes are commonly used in industry for the separation of gases like CO2 from flue gas and methane from natural gas. Over several decades, researchers have been studying various polymers to improve their permeability ...

How ultrathin polymer films can be used for storage technology

Precisely applied mechanical pressure can improve the electronic properties of a widely used polymer material. This requires that the material be mechanically processed to an accuracy of a few nanometers, a team from Martin ...

Nanoparticle 'backpacks' restore damaged stem cells

Within a newborn's umbilical cord lie potentially life-saving stem cells that can be used to fight diseases like lymphoma and leukemia. That is why many new parents elect to store ("bank") their infant's stem cell-rich umbilical ...

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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