Project Details Glossary of class names of polymers based on their chemical structure and molecular architecture

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 June 2002
End Date: 
30 June 2009
Division Name: 


To elaborate the IUPAC document in which commonly used class names of polymers based on molecular structure features will be summarised, classified and divided to categories according to their semantic origin and their definitions will be given.


The document deals with macromolecular terminology, which is typical and unique field of activity of the IUPAC organization. The document will comprise about 130 entries that will be divided into three parts:

I. Source-Based Names, identifying common classes of starting monomers such as “acrylic”, “diene”, “phenolic”, “vinylic”.

II. Chemical-Structure-Based Names, identifying a characteristic group in the main chain (backbone) of the polymer such as (i) a functional-group link, e.g., “amide”, “ester”, “ether”; (ii) an atom or group of atoms with specified bonds, e.g., “alkenylene”, “siloxane”, “sulfone”; (iii) a ring, e.g., “benzimidazole”, “benzoxazole”, quinoxaline”; or a presence of other characteristic chemical structure feature such as ions and conjugated multiple bonds.

III. Names Based on Molecular Architecture, identifying the overall geometrical representation of macromolecules such as “branched”, “comb”, “dendritic”, “graft”, “linear”.

Each part of the Glossary will be organized in a non-hierarchical alphabetical order. Each entry provides:

  1. the polymer class name;
  2. its definition based on the source (Part I.) or main structural feature (Part II.) or molecular architecture (Part III), respectively;
  3. specific or generic examples;
  4. typical reactions used for polymer preparation and its characteristic properties;
  5. relations to other polymer classes and subclasses;
  6. notes on inclusion or exclusion of borderline cases. High number of illustrative drawings, formulas and reaction schemes (above 200) will be included.

For monomers, recommended systematic IUPAC names are used as well as semisystematic and trivial names well established by usage.


See previous project 410/30/97
The document preparation is already in progress and consensus has been achieved in many disputable points, nevertheless, some of them yet remain, for example: dendritic polymers, hyperbranched polymers, conjugated polymers, ions-containing polymers and others.

May 2006 – an extension till June 2007 has been approved to facilitate completion of this project.

Jan 2008 – A draft titled ‘Glossary of class names of polymersbased on chemical structure and molecular architecture’ is submittedto public review comments until 30 June 2008 - provisional recommendations /provisional/abstract08/vohlidal_300608.html

> June 2009 – Project completed – IUPAC  Recommendations published in Pure Appl. Chem., 2009, Vol. 81, No. 6, pp. 1131-1186

> Apr 2010 – An extract was translated by a member of staff of Angewandte Chemie, corrected by Karl-Heinz Hellwich and with help of Michael Hess and published in Angew. Chem., 122(28) 4943-4951 (2010); doi:10.1002/ange.200903254