The whole or part of a macromolecule
, an oligomer molecule
or a block
, comprising a linear or branched sequence
of constitutional units
between two boundary constitutional units, each of which may be either an end-group
, a branch point
or an otherwise-designated characteristic feature of the macromolecule.
- Except in linear single-strand macromolecules, the definition of a chain may be somewhat arbitrary.
- A cyclic macromolecule has no end groups but may nevertheless be regarded as a chain.
- Any number of branch points may be present between the boundary units.
- Where appropriate, definitions relating to 'macromolecule' may also be applied to 'chain'.
PAC, 1996, 68, 2287
(Glossary of basic terms in polymer science (IUPAC Recommendations 1996))
on page 2293
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A.Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook