Organizations & People
Pure Appl. Chem.,
Vol. 68, No.12, pp. 2287-2311, 1996
ON MACROMOLECULAR NOMENCLATURE
Glossary of basic terms in polymer science
(IUPAC Recommendations 1996)
Prepared for publication by A. D. Jenkins (UK), P. Kratochvìl
(Czech Republic), R. F. T. Stepto (UK), and U. W. Suter (Switzerland)
In order to present clear concepts it is necessary that
idealized definitions be adopted but it is recognized that the realities
of polymer science must be faced. Deviations from ideality arise with
polymers at both molecular and bulk levels in ways that have no parallel
with the ordinary small molecules of organic or inorganic chemistry.
Although such deviations are not explicitly taken into account in the
definitions below, the nomenclature recommended can usefully be applied
to the predominant structural features of real polymer molecules,
if necessary with self-explanatory, if imprecise, qualifications such
as "essentially º",
"almost completely º",
or "highly º".
Although such expressions lack the rigour beloved by the purist, every
experienced polymer scientist knows that communication in this discipline
is impossible without them.
Conventionally, the word polymer used as a noun
is ambiguous; it is commonly employed to refer to both polymer substances
and polymer molecules. Henceforth, macromolecule is used for
individual molecules and polymer is used to denote a substance
composed of macromolecules. Polymer may also be employed unambiguously
as an adjective, according to accepted usage, e.g. polymer blend,
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