Polymer Nanowires

Authored by: Atikur Rahman , Milan K. Sanyal

Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075427
eBook ISBN: 9781420075434
Adobe ISBN:


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A polymer molecule is composed of several repetitive units called monomers; the word “poly” means many and “mer” means unit. The term monomer means a chemical repeat unit of small molecules that are polymerized to produce a polymer. For example, a useful polymer polyethylene −CH2–CH2–CH2–CH2–CH2− or (–CH2–CH2–) n is obtained by a polymerization reaction of n number of ethylene (CH2=CH2) molecules. It is interesting to note that for n of the order of 20,000, a straight polymer chain will have a length of a few microns and a width of about 1 nm. Unlike conventional molecules, polymers will have a distribution of n, hence, the molecular weight of a polymer will be around the mean value—for this particular example, the mean molecular weight will be 280,000 g mol−1.

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