Organizations & People
Number: 2005-007-1-400 [previously
Title: Guide to macromolecular
terminology and nomenclature
Task group Chairman: E.S.
To bring to a general and much wider audience, matters of macromolecular
nomenclature and terminology in order to foster clear communication
in and a deeper understanding of the subject.
In the early 20th century, the concept of macromolecules was introduced,
which led to the foundation of polymer science as a subject of study.
With the spread of knowledge of this new type of molecule and the
materials formed therefrom, the need grew for an unequivocal and
universal terminology and chemical nomenclature and its documentation.
Initially, small groups and committees were formed to discuss the
issues involved. Finally, in 1952 the first recommendations on macromolecular
nomenclature were published by IUPAC.
Following this start, many IUPAC recommendations in the fields
of macromolecular terminology and nomenclature have been published
over the past 50 or so years. They are concerned with the structural
representation of macromolecules, terminology related to polymerization,
the structure and properties of polymer materials, and chemical
The proposed guide is being written to provide easy access to the
most important aspects of these recommendations, with the particular
aim of helping newcomers to macromolecular chemistry and physics
in order to cope with the particular features of the subject, even
though they may be experts in other fields of chemistry and physics.
It gives definitions, terms, and nomenclature rules linked with
explanatory text, as in a textbook. Usually text from the original
IUPAC recommendations is quoted and references are given. The IUPAC
documents on which the various chapters are based were published
originally in Pure and Applied Chemistry, online at <www.iupac.org/publications/pac>.
(An index of reports and recommendations published by the Polymer
Division is also available from <www.iupac.org/divisions/IV>)
This Guide, to be published on the IUPAC Web site only, is originally
structured into eight chapters, each of which covers a particular
field. The chapters, which start with basic terms and end with chemical
nomenclature, cover polymerization, individual macromolecules and
macromolecules in solution, crystalline polymers, polymer liquid
crystals, degradation and aging, and mechanical properties. It is
noteworthy that many of the authors of the individual chapters were
involved in writing the original recommendations on which the chapters
are based. It is their sincere hope that the Guide provides a useful
and readable introduction to the language of polymer science and,
hence, furthers clarity and precision in scientific communication.
As new recommendations covering additional fields of macromolecular
terminology and nomenclature are published, and the corresponding
need arises to provide guidance for their use, additional Chapters
will be provided.
Introduction, by M. Hess and R. F. T. Stepto
Basic Terms In Polymer Science,
by M. Barón, M. Hess, J. Kahovec, P. Kratochvíl,
and R. F. T. Stepto
Kinetics, Thermodynamics, and Mechanisms of
by A. D. Jenkins, P. Kubisa, E. Maréchal, and S. Penczek
Individual Macromolecules, Their Assemblies,
and Macromolecules in Dilute Solution,
by M. Hess, P. Kratochvíl, and R. F. T. Stepto
by J.-I. Jin
by M. Barón, V. P. Shibaev, and A. Sirigu
Terms Relating to Degradation, Aging, and Related
Chemical Transformations of Polymers,
by K. Hatada, R. B. Fox, J. Kahovec, E. Maréchal, V. P.
Shibaev, and G. Swift
Mechanical Properties of Elastic Solids and
Viscoelastic Liquids and Solids,
by W. J. Work
by E. S. Wilks
want to update this information, contact us by e-mail
Do not forget to include the Project Number,
your name and relation with that project
Page last modified 23 March 2005.
Copyright ©1997-2005 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Questions or comments about IUPAC, please contact, the Secretariat.
Questions regarding the website, please contact Web