Control of polymer sequences
Kamigaito, Masami Department of Applied Chemistry, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan.
Satoh, Kotaro Department of Applied Chemistry, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan.
- Polymerization of programmed monomers
- Links to Primary Literature
Polymers or macromolecules are high-molecular-weight compounds that are produced naturally in living organisms or synthetically in reaction vessels via the linking of low-molecular-weight compounds (that is, monomers) into long molecular chains. Natural polymers include not only proteins and DNA, but also cellulose and amylose, which are biologically produced in animals and plants. Most synthetic polymers are chemically produced and are used in various product applications, such as plastics, fibers, and rubbers. Synthetic polymers are prepared via repetitive chemical reactions—that is, the polymerization of monomers. The monomers used to produce a polymer may be a single compound or, often, may consist of two or more compounds; in the latter case, the products are known as copolymers. The properties of a polymer, such as its toughness, stiffness, viscoelasticity, solubility, density, transparency, hygroscopicity, and conductivity, strongly depend on the structure of the monomers, which means that copolymerization can be very useful for modifying polymer properties depending on the comonomer components. Therefore, an extremely large number of different types of copolymers are now produced industrially to achieve various desirable polymer properties. See also: Cellulose; Copolymer; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Manufactured fiber; Polymer; Polymerization; Protein; Rubber
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