Engineering

Working toward a 3D-printed VR glove

Research sometimes needs a sacrifice. Empa researcher Patrick Danner has just made oneā€”and filmed it. "When I applied a good 2,000 volts to the sample, it caught fire," he reports drily in the debriefing. The mishap is ...

Energy & Green Tech

Flexible solar cells with record efficiency of 22.2%

Empa researchers have, once again, improved the efficiency of CIGS flexible solar cells. Independently certified measurements revealed a power conversion efficiency of 22.2% to convert light into electricity, an improvement ...

Energy & Green Tech

Improved efficiency of all-polymer solar cells

Solar cells are an important contributor to a renewable energy supply, but solar panel waste will quickly become an enormous problem. Now, in a study recently published in Journal of Materials Chemistry A, researchers from ...

Robotics

Robo-bug: A rechargeable, remote-controllable cyborg cockroach

An international team led by researchers at the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR) has engineered a system for creating remote controlled cyborg cockroaches, equipped with a tiny wireless control module that is powered ...

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Polymer

A polymer (from Greek πολύ-ς /po΄li-s/ much, many and μέρος /΄meros/ part) is a large molecule (macromolecule) composed of repeating structural units typically connected by covalent chemical bonds. While polymer in popular usage suggests plastic, the term actually refers to a large class of natural and synthetic materials with a variety of properties.

Due to the extraordinary range of properties accessible in polymeric materials , they have come to play an essential and ubiquitous role in everyday life - from plastics and elastomers on the one hand to natural biopolymers such as DNA and proteins that are essential for life on the other. A simple example is polyethylene, whose repeating unit is based on ethylene (IUPAC name ethene) monomer. Most commonly, as in this example, the continuously linked backbone of a polymer consists mainly of carbon atoms. However, other structures do exist; for example, elements such as silicon form familiar materials such as silicones, examples being silly putty and waterproof plumbing sealant. The backbone of DNA is in fact based on a phosphodiester bond, and repeating units of polysaccharides (e.g. cellulose) are joined together by glycosidic bonds via oxygen atoms.

Natural polymeric materials such as shellac, amber, and natural rubber have been in use for centuries. Biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids play crucial roles in biological processes. A variety of other natural polymers exist, such as cellulose, which is the main constituent of wood and paper.

The list of synthetic polymers includes synthetic rubber, Bakelite, neoprene, nylon, PVC, polystyrene, polyacrylonitrile, PVB, silicone, and many more.

Polymers are studied in the fields of polymer chemistry, polymer physics, and polymer science.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA