Electronics & Semiconductors

Smart films facilitate human-machine interaction

Imagine this: A smooth touchscreen display placed on top of a thin silicone polymer film suddenly generates the feeling of a tiny raised button under the user's finger. Or how about the idea of wearing that same polymer film ...

Energy & Green Tech

Making materials for the next generation of electric car batteries

As drivers around the world switch to electric cars, new batteries that can store more energy, translating to longer driving distances before a car needs recharging, can't come soon enough. But researchers at NTNU have discovered ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Uncovering the secret of ternary polymer solar cell success

Solar cells will doubtless play a significant part in a sustainable energy future. Polymer solar cells (PSCs) specifically provide an excellent option because they are cheap to produce and can be both flexible and semitransparent. ...

page 1 from 6


A polymer (from Greek πολύ-ς /po΄li-s/ much, many and μέρος /΄meros/ part) is a large molecule (macromolecule) composed of repeating structural units typically connected by covalent chemical bonds. While polymer in popular usage suggests plastic, the term actually refers to a large class of natural and synthetic materials with a variety of properties.

Due to the extraordinary range of properties accessible in polymeric materials , they have come to play an essential and ubiquitous role in everyday life - from plastics and elastomers on the one hand to natural biopolymers such as DNA and proteins that are essential for life on the other. A simple example is polyethylene, whose repeating unit is based on ethylene (IUPAC name ethene) monomer. Most commonly, as in this example, the continuously linked backbone of a polymer consists mainly of carbon atoms. However, other structures do exist; for example, elements such as silicon form familiar materials such as silicones, examples being silly putty and waterproof plumbing sealant. The backbone of DNA is in fact based on a phosphodiester bond, and repeating units of polysaccharides (e.g. cellulose) are joined together by glycosidic bonds via oxygen atoms.

Natural polymeric materials such as shellac, amber, and natural rubber have been in use for centuries. Biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids play crucial roles in biological processes. A variety of other natural polymers exist, such as cellulose, which is the main constituent of wood and paper.

The list of synthetic polymers includes synthetic rubber, Bakelite, neoprene, nylon, PVC, polystyrene, polyacrylonitrile, PVB, silicone, and many more.

Polymers are studied in the fields of polymer chemistry, polymer physics, and polymer science.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA