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Polymers

  • Mohamed Daoud

Abstract

Even people living in a remote part of the jungle have probably heard about nylon, polystyrene, or plexiglas. If they have not, they may be forgiven; they are good (and wise) savages. Macromolecules or polymers are essential products in everyday life and tend to become more and more so, because they are essentially synthetic materials that substitute for natural materials that are becoming scarce and expensive. Plastics is the best-known name to designate them, but they are much more than that: rubbers, paints, adhesives, fibers, and glasses are made of polymers, and probably very soon batteries, will be too. They have in common the fact that they are huge macromolecules, made of millions of atoms. They are usually the repetition of a unit called a monomer. But they may also be made of two different monomers A and B in either regular or random succession. They are then called copolymers. They may be neutral or electrically charged. In the latter case they are named polyelectrolytes. All biological molecules are copolymers of this type. They may be linear or branched. In the latter case, they may eventually form a solid, a gel. Finally, they may be either amorphous or crystalline. In the former case, their structure is random, whereas in the latter, they form a regular structure which is never completely ordered: an amorphous fraction is most usually present between organized regions.

Keywords

Fractal Dimension Linear Chain Scattered Intensity Screening Length Screen Length 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

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  • Mohamed Daoud

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