Polymer Synthesis

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Polymer Synthesis

Polymer synthesis, also called polymerization, is the process by which monomers (small molecules) are covalently bonded to form a long polymer chain or network. Understanding the mechanism of polymerization reaction is important since more than half the compounds produced by the chemical industry are synthetic polymers. There are two general types of polymerization reactions: addition polymerization and condensation polymerization. In addition polymerization, the monomers add to one another in such a way that the polymer contains all the atoms of the starting monomers. In the case of a condensation reaction, two monomers are combined resulting from the loss of a small molecule, usually a water molecule. The addition polymerization is also referred to as chain reaction, which contains three main steps: Initiation, propagation and termination. Based on the initial system of the chemical reaction, addition polymerization method can be divided into four categories: bulk, solution, suspension, and emulsion polymerization.

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