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Polymer Chemistry: Chemical Composition

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    The chemical composition of a polymer influences the forces of attractions between polymer chains and how closely the chains can pack. These can have an important effect on the physical properties of the polymer.

    • Polymer Chemistry: Intermolecular Forces
      The intermolecular forces for polymers are the same as for small molecules. Because polymer molecules are so large, though, the magnitude of their intermolecular forces can vastly exceed those between small molecules. The presence of strong intermolecular forces is one of the main factors leading to the unique physical properties of polymers.
    • Polymer Chemistry: Pendant Groups
      A group attached to the polymer backbone and present in the repeating unit is called a pendant group.
    • Polymer Chemistry: Polymerization Reactions
      For polymerization to take place, the monomers must be capable of being linked to two (or more) other monomer molecules. Most of these reactions can be placed in one of two classifications: chain-reaction polymerization and step-reaction polymerization.
    • Polymer Chemistry: Stiffening Groups
      The flexibility of a polymer chain depends on the groups present in the polymer backbone. Groups such as the following are called stiffening groups because they decrease the flexibility of the polymer chain.

    Contributors and Attributions

    • David Whisnant (Wofford College). Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education through grants DUE #9950809 and DUE #9950296. Additional support was provided by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

    This page titled Polymer Chemistry: Chemical Composition is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by David Whisnant.

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