Monomers, Oligomers, Polymers, and Macromolecules (Overview)
A polymer is a molecule of high molecular weight, the structure of which essentially comprises the multiple repetition of units derived, actually or conceptually, from molecules of low molecular weight. Polymers range from synthetic polymers to natural biopolymers such as DNA and proteins. An oligomer is a molecule that consists of a few monomer units. “Macromolecule” is used for individual molecules of high molecular weight and “polymer” is used to denote a substance composed of macromolecules.
Polymeric materials have existed as fundamental components of plants and animals from time immemorial. The human beings have used these natural polymeric materials in food, clothing, and houses from the most ancient times and have then developed synthetic materials such as Celluloid®, Bakelite®, rayon, and rubber . However, we did not know real structures of these polymeric materials before the beginning of the last...