A large molecule formed by the linking together of many smaller molecules known as monomers. A polymer may be liquid or solid; solid polymers may consist of millions of repeated linked units.

Natural rubber and synthetic rubbers are examples of polymers.

A polymer made from two or more similar monomers is called a copolymer; a copolymer composed of three different types of monomers is a terpolymer.

Polymers are commonly used as viscosity index improvers in multi-grade oils and tackifiers in lubricating greases.


A prefix denoting a type of molecular structure. For some unsaturated carbon chain atoms within a mer unit, a side atom or group may be situated on one side of thechain or directly opposite at a 180 rotation position. In a cis structure, two such side groups within the same mer reside on the same side (e.g., cis-isoprene).

See also: Alternating Copolymer, Atactic, Branched Polymer, Condensation Polymerization, Conducting Polymer, Copolymer, Crosslinked Polymer, Crystallite, Degree of Polymerization, Homopolymer, Isotactic, Liquid Crystal Polymer, Mer, Monomer, Network Polymer, Polymer Matrix Composite, Polymerization, Polymerize, Random Copolymer, Resin, Terpolymer, Thermoplastic, Vinyl Acetate.

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Subjects: Chemistry