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Published: Kem. Ind. 60 (4) (2011) 201–215
Paper reference number: KUI-12/2010
Paper type: Nomenclature note
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Introduction to Polymer Nomenclature

V. Jarm


Presented is a condensed review of the current state of polymer nomenclature according to IUPAC recommendations. Two nomenclature systems, the source-based and the structurebased, differ on the viewpoint of how the structure of a polymer is represented and named. In the simpler and traditionally more popular source-based nomenclature, a polymer is named by attaching the prefix “poly” to the name of the starting monomer, e.g. polystyrene. This system suffers from the lack of clear definitions or rules. The more complex structure-based system consists of naming a polymer as poly(constitutional repeating unit), e.g. poly(1-phenyletane-1,2-diil). However, for the identification, orientation and naming of the preferred constitutional repeating unit, a number of principles and rules, according to the IUPAC recommended nomenclature of organic compounds, should be known and used. Application of both systems to certain polymer structures and their illustration with numerous examples are described.

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nomenclature for synthetic polymers, principles, source-based nomenclature, structure-based nomenclature