CIE IGCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

14.3.1 Polymers

Polymers: Basics

  • Polymers are large molecules built by linking 50 or more smaller molecules called monomers
  • Each repeat unit is connected to the adjacent units via covalent bonds
Extended Only


  • Some polymers called homopolymers contain just one type of unit
  • Examples include polythene and polychloroethene, commonly known as PVC
  • Others contain two or more different types of monomer units and which are called copolymers
  • Examples include nylon and biological proteins
  • Different linkages also exist, depending on the monomers and the type of polymerisation
  • Examples of linkages are covalent bonds, amide links and ester links

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