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Chapter 21
Synthetic Polymers

Characteristics and Nomenclature of Homopolymers
Polymers that are made up of identical monomer units are called homopolymers. Only one repeating unit is involved in the construction of the…
Characteristics and Nomenclature of Copolymers
Copolymers are the products obtained from the polymerization of multiple monomer species. So, in a polymer chain itself, there can be multiple…
Polymers: Defining Molecular Weight
Unlike small molecules with definite molecular weights, polymers are a mixture of individual polymer chains of varying lengths, each with a unique…
Polymers: Molecular Weight Distribution
For any given polymer, the weight average molecular weight (Mw) is higher than, if not equal to, the number average molecular weight (Mn). The only…
Polymer Classification: Architecture
Polymers are classified as linear or branched on the basis of their chain architecture. The polymer chains in linear polymers have a long chain-like…
Polymer Classification: Crystallinity
Unlike ionic or small covalent molecules, polymers do not form crystalline solids due to the diffusion limitations of their long-chain structures.…
Polymer Classification: Stereospecificity
Polymerization generates chiral centers along the entire backbone of a polymer chain. Accordingly, the stereochemistry of the substituent group has a…
Radical Chain-Growth Polymerization: Overview
Chain-growth or addition polymerization is successive addition reactions of monomers with a polymer chain. In radical chain-growth polymerization,…
Radical Chain-Growth Polymerization: Mechanism
The radical chain-growth polymerization mechanism consists of three steps: initiation, propagation, and termination of polymerization. The…
Radical Chain-Growth Polymerization: Chain Branching
The skeletal structure of polymers synthesized via radical polymerization is always branched. For example, the polymerization of ethylene by radical…
Anionic Chain-Growth Polymerization: Overview
The polymerization process that involves carbanion as an intermediate is called anionic polymerization. It is also a type of addition or chain-growth…
Anionic Chain-Growth Polymerization: Mechanism
The mechanism for anionic chain-growth polymerization involves initiation, propagation, and termination steps. In the initiation step, a nucleophilic…
Cationic Chain-Growth Polymerization: Mechanism
The cationic polymerization mechanism consists of three steps: initiation, propagation, and termination. In the initiation step of the polymerization…
Ziegler–Natta Chain-Growth Polymerization: Overview
Ziegler–Natta polymerization is another form of addition or chain‐growth polymerization used for synthesizing linear polymers over…
Step-Growth Polymerization: Overview
Step-growth or condensation polymerization is a stepwise reaction of bi or multifunctional monomers to form long-chain polymers. As all the monomers…
Molecular Weight of Step-Growth Polymers
Step growth polymerization involves bi or multifunctional monomers. Bifunctional monomers react to form linear step growth polymers, whereas…
Types of Step-Growth Polymers: Polyesters
The introduction of polyesters has brought major development to the textile industry. The wrinkle-free behavior of polyester blends has eliminated…
Olefin Metathesis Polymerization: Overview
Recently, the development of olefin metathesis polymerization advanced the field of polymer synthesis. Simply put, the reorganization of substituents…
Olefin Metathesis Polymerization: Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP)
Ring-opening metathesis polymerization or ROMP involves strained cycloalkenes as starting materials. The mechanism of ROMP proceeds by reacting…
Olefin Metathesis Polymerization: Acyclic Diene Metathesis (ADMET)
Acyclic diene metathesis polymerization or ADMET polymerization involves cross-metathesis of terminal dienes, such as 1,8-nonadiene, to give linear…
Fabricating Superhydrophobic Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications
Superhydrophobic materials, with surfaces possessing permanent or metastable non-wetted states, are of interest for a number of biomedical and…
Anionic Polymerization of an Amphiphilic Copolymer for Preparation of Block Copolymer Micelles Stabilized by π-π Stacking Interactions
In this study, an amphiphilic copolymer that includes a core-forming block with phenyl groups was synthesized by living anionic polymerization of…
Characterization of Synthetic Polymers via Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) Mass Spectrometry
There are many techniques that can be employed in the characterization of synthetic homopolymers, but few provide as useful of information for end…

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