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Monomers

A Monomer is a molecule that may bind chemically or supramolecularly to other molecules to form a (supramolecular) polymer. The process by which monomers combine to form a polymer is called polymerization. Molecules made of a small number of monomer units (up to a few dozen) are called oligomers. The term "monomeric protein" may also be used to describe one of the proteins making up a multiprotein complex.

Industrial polymers:

  •     Ethylene gas (H2C=CH2) is the precursor monomer for polyethylene
  •     Other modified ethylene molecules, such as tetrafluoroethylene (F2C=CF2) which leads to Teflon, vinyl chloride (H2C=CHCl) which leads to PVC, styrene (C6H5CH=CH2) which leads to polystyrene, etc.
  •     Epoxide monomers may be cross linked with themselves, or with the addition of a co-reactant, to form epoxy
  •     BPA is the monomer precursor for polycarbonate
  •     Many more

Biopolymer groupings, and the types of monomers that create them:

  •     For lipids (Diglycerides, triglycerides)*, the monomers are glycerol and fatty acids.
  •     For proteins (Polypeptides), the monomers are amino acids.
  •     For Nucleic acids (DNA/RNA), the monomers are nucleotides which is made of a pentose sugar, a nitrogenous base and a phosphate group.
  •     For carbohydrates (Polysaccharides specifically and disaccharides—depends), the monomers are monosaccharides.

*Diglycerides and triglycerides are made by dehydration synthesis from smaller molecules; this is not the same kind of end-to-end linking of similar monomers that qualifies as polymerization. Therefore, diglycerides and triglycerides are an exception to the term polymer.

 
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Monomers

A Monomer is a molecule that may bind chemically or supramolecularly to other molecules to form a (supramolecular) polymer. The process by which monomers combine to form a polymer is called polymerization. Molecules made of a small number of monomer units (up to a few dozen) are called oligomers. The term "monomeric protein" may also be used to describe one of the proteins making up a multiprotein complex.

Industrial polymers:

  •     Ethylene gas (H2C=CH2) is the precursor monomer for polyethylene
  •     Other modified ethylene molecules, such as tetrafluoroethylene (F2C=CF2) which leads to Teflon, vinyl chloride (H2C=CHCl) which leads to PVC, styrene (C6H5CH=CH2) which leads to polystyrene, etc.
  •     Epoxide monomers may be cross linked with themselves, or with the addition of a co-reactant, to form epoxy
  •     BPA is the monomer precursor for polycarbonate
  •     Many more

Biopolymer groupings, and the types of monomers that create them:

  •     For lipids (Diglycerides, triglycerides)*, the monomers are glycerol and fatty acids.
  •     For proteins (Polypeptides), the monomers are amino acids.
  •     For Nucleic acids (DNA/RNA), the monomers are nucleotides which is made of a pentose sugar, a nitrogenous base and a phosphate group.
  •     For carbohydrates (Polysaccharides specifically and disaccharides—depends), the monomers are monosaccharides.

*Diglycerides and triglycerides are made by dehydration synthesis from smaller molecules; this is not the same kind of end-to-end linking of similar monomers that qualifies as polymerization. Therefore, diglycerides and triglycerides are an exception to the term polymer.

Monomers