Project Details Nomenclature for Chemically Modified Polymers

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 2000
End Date:
28 February 2015
Division Name:


(previous 1999-051-1-400)

Systematic source-based nomenclature for modified polymers is needed to facilitate communication between scientists; the existing structure-based nomenclature is cumbersome and inadequate for describing some polymer modifications.


Besides many polymers produced by direct transformation of monomer(s) through a polymerization process, commercial products containing modified polymers, which are produced by chemical modification of their precursor polymers, have been available for well over 75 years, and they continue to be commercially important. A process-based nomenclature system is described for modified polymers, which intentionally indicates that a particular polymer to be named has been chemically modified.

A connective within a name of a polymer, –mod-, is introduced for this nomenclature as poly(A-mod-B). The nomenclature embraces

  1. in situ modification of one constitutional unit to another;
  2. modification by addition of functional groups at partly or completely unknown sites, and
  3. modification of a polymer in such a way that specific structural details of the change are unknown.


May 2006 – The introduction of new nomenclature and terminology as indicated above requires further careful consideration and extended discussion beyond that which was envisaged when the project started. An extension has been approved to facilitate completion of this project and under the new chairmanship of T. Kitayama.

August 2014 – the provisional recommendations titled ‘Nomenclature And Graphic Representations For Chemically Modified Polymers’ is made available for public review until 31 Dec 2014.

March 2015 – project complete; recommendations published : Nomenclature and graphic representations for chemically modified polymers (IUPAC Recommendations 2014), Pure Appl. Chem. 87(3), pp. 307-319 (2015),

April 2015 – Erratum published in Pure Appl. Chem. 87(4), pp. 441-441 (2015),

Page last updated 20 April 2015