Macromolecules in Solution
The solvent–solute structure in aqueous solutions of small polar and nonpolar molecules has been described. The view presented of the disturbance of the normal hexagonal structure of liquid water by these small solutes can serve as a model for solutions of macromolecules, which, to a reasonable approximation, may be treated as a chain of small solute molecules attached to each other. Such molecules are polymers. Polymers of a single component or monomer are called homopolymers (A n ). Copolymers are comprised of two or more monomers. Copolymers can be random (AAABBABBBA…) or ordered (ABABABAB or ABCABCABC). Polymers of these types are mainstays of the chemical industry, and their solubility or insolubility in aqueous environments can now be predicted with a high degree of accuracy, allowing proper formulation of the polymerizing mixture.