How are monomers and polymers the same

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The term monomer (from Greek monos "individual" and meros "part") generally describes the individual component or the basic unit from which the larger macromolecular compounds, the polymers, are built up through assembly. The specific meaning can vary depending on the subject.

See also: polymer

Area of ​​Expertise - biochemistry

The following biopolymers play a major role in biochemistry: nucleic acids (monomer: nucleotide or the corresponding activated nucleoside triphosphate), proteins (monomer: amino acids) and polysaccharides (monomer: monosaccharides such as glucose and fructose).

In addition, the individual subunits of multimeric proteins are also referred to as monomers.

Area of ​​Expertise - Macromolecular Chemistry

In the field of macromolecular chemistry, the term monomer includes all compounds from which polymers can be formed by a polymerization reaction, whereby different types of reaction are possible (additions, condensations) and the monomers belong to very different classes of compounds.

Learning units in which the term is dealt with

Structure of plastics90 min.

chemistryMacromolecular ChemistryPolymers

In this learning unit you will learn what is meant by plastics, how they are basically chemically structured and how plastics are named. In the following, it will be discussed what distinguishes plastics from natural polymers.

Polymerization90 min.

chemistryMacromolecular ChemistryPolymers

Plastics are always manufactured by linking many small molecules (monomers) to form chain-like or network-like giant molecules (polymers). The structural prerequisite for polymerization are double bonds in the monomer. The course of a polymerization reaction is explained using the production of polystyrene.