A monomer (/ˈmɒnəmər/ MON-ə-mər; mono-, "one" + -mer, "part") is a molecule that "can undergo polymerization thereby contributing constitutional units to the essential structure of a macromolecule". Large numbers of monomers combine to form polymers in a process called polymerization.

Monomers can be classified in many ways. They can be subdivided into two broad classes, depending on the kind of the polymer that they form. Monomers that participate in condensation polymerization have a different stoichiometry than monomers that participate in addition polymerization:

Other classifications include:

The polymerization of one kind of monomer gives a homopolymer. Many polymers are copolymers, meaning that they are derived from two different monomers. In the case of condensation polymerizations, the ratio of comonomers is usually 1:1. For example, the formation of many nylons requires equal amounts of a dicarboxylic acid and diamine. In the case of addition polymerizations, the comonomer content is often only a few percent. For example, small amounts of 1-octene monomer are copolymerized with ethylene to give specialized polyethylene.

The term "monomeric protein" may also be used to describe one of the proteins making up a multiprotein complex.

Some of the main biopolymers are listed below:

This page was last edited on 14 April 2018, at 11:16.
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