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Polymer chemistry

chemistry subdiscipline

Polymer chemistry is a multidisciplinary science that deals with the chemical synthesis and chemical properties of polymers which were considered by Hermann Staudinger as macromolecules.  According to IUPAC recommendations, macromolecules refer to the individual molecular chains and are the domain of chemistry.  Polymers describe the bulk properties of polymer materials and belong to the field of polymer physics as a subfield of physics.


  • The evolvement of our present-day understanding of polymeric structures occurred in the early 1920s. Thus, Staudinger et al. firmly established the existence of macromolecules. Others, by X-ray analyses and careful use of molecular weight determinations, confirmed his findings. In 1929, a series of outstanding investigations were carried out by Carothers on other polymeric materials. This resulted in much of today’s knowledge and understanding.
    • A. Ravve, Principles of Polymer Chemistry (3rd ed., 2012), Ch. 1 : Introduction and Nomenclature, pp. 1–2.

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