Project Details Terminology and nomenclature of macromolecules with cyclic structures

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 2002
End Date:
18 February 2008
Division Name:


Cyclic macromolecules are widespread in nature, from cyclic DNA to macrocyclic molecules in liquid sulfur. In addition, cyclic forms of many classes of synthetic macromolecules have been prepared, for example, polysiloxanes, nylons, polyesters, polystyrene. Further, within the last decade, macromolecules of more complex architectures, containing threaded cyclic structures have been synthesized. Examples are catenanes (olympic-ring structures), rotaxanes (threaded rings on linear chains) and other types of structure, such as, polyrotaxanes and calixeranes. Polymers with such types of complex molecular structures are now finding applications as functional polymeric materials, for example, as catalyst supports, charge carriers and biologically active species.

No systematic structure-based nomenclature exists, even for the simplest type of cyclic macromolecular structure, the regular cyclic macromolecule. The present project would correct this omission and extend considerations irregular cyclic macromolecules and, importantly, to the more recent, complex molecular structures. Terminology will also be developed to classify the types of cyclic macromolecular architectures which now exist.


Several nomenclature schemes have been considered and discussed amongst the Working Party and at the Commission’s Meeting in Berlin (August 1999). These schemes will now be unified and discussed by the task group.

Dec 2006 – A manuscript is being prepared for publicationin Pure Appl. Chem. A draft is submitted to public reviewcomments until 31 May 2007.
> see provisionalrecommendations [../../reports/provisional/abstract06/mormann_310507.html]

Feb 2008Project completed – IUPAC Recommendationspublished in PureAppl. Chem.80(2), 201-232, 2008.

Last update: 18 Feb 2008