International Conference on Organic and Inorganic Chemistry at Edinburgh, Scotland.

From Nov 5-7, 2018, a 3-day International Conference on Organic and Inorganic Chemistry is organized by OrganicChemistry2018 at Edinburgh, Scotland.

One of the sessions is about monomers and polymers.

What Are Polymers?

What is DNA, plastic bottle, and wood all having in common? They are all polymers!

Polymers are very large molecules that are made up of thousands - even millions - of atoms that are bonded together in a repeating pattern. The structure of a polymer is easily visualized by imagining a chain. The chain has many links that are connected together. In the same way, the atoms in the polymer are bonded to each other to form links in the polymer chain.

The molecular links in the polymer chain are called repeat units that are formed from one or more molecules called monomers. The structure of the repeat unit can vary widely and depends on the raw materials that make up the polymer. For example, polyethylene, the polymer used to make a wide variety of plastic bags and containers, has a very simple repeat unit, two carbons that are bonded to one another to form a single link.

Synthesizing Polymers

Polymers are created through chemical reactions known as polymerizations, and the majority are produced through two basic reaction types. The first type of polymerization reaction is known as a condensation polymerization. The second type of reaction is known as chain-growth polymerization.

Condensation polymerizations, also called step-growth polymerizations, occur when two monomers react to yield a repeat unit and a smaller molecule such as water. A great example of this type of reaction is the polymerization of nylon from monomers with carboxylic acids and basic amines. The reaction creates a link between each monomer and produces water as a by-product and is used to produce nylon fibers for clothing.

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