Polymer Design and Reaction
In Polymer Chemistry, polymerization is a process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form polymer chains or three-dimensional networks. There are many forms of polymerization and different systems exist to categorize them. In chemical compounds, polymerization occurs via a variety of reaction mechanisms that vary in complexity due to functional groups present in reacting compounds and their inherent steric effects. In more straightforward polymerization, alkenes, which are relatively stable due to sigma bonding between carbon atoms, form polymers through relatively simple radical reactions; in contrast, more complex reactions such as those that involve substitution at the carbonyl group require more complex synthesis due to the way in which reacting molecules polymerize. Alkanes can also be polymerized, but only with the help of strong acids.