Highly ramified structure in which essentially each constitutional unit is connected to each other constitutional unit and to the macroscopic phase boundary by many paths through the structure, the number of such paths increasing with the average number of intervening constitutional units; the paths must on average be co-extensive with the structure.
  1. Usually, and in all systems that exhibit rubber elasticity, the number of distinct paths is very high, but, in most cases, some constitutional units exist that are connected by a single path only.
  2. Modified from previous definition. The definition proposed here is a generalization to cover both polymeric networks and networks comprised of particles.
PAC, 2007, 79, 1801 (Definitions of terms relating to the structure and processing of sols, gels, networks, and inorganic-organic hybrid materials (IUPAC Recommendations 2007)) on page 1813