A @C00960@ in which the growth of a polymer @C00946@ proceeds exclusively by reaction(s) between @M04017@ and reactive site(s) on the polymer chain with regeneration of the reactive site(s) at the end of each growth step.
  1. A chain @P04740@ consists of @I03042@ and @P04881-1@ reactions, and may also include @T06274@ and @C00963@ reactions.
  2. The adjective 'chain' in 'chain @P04740@' denotes a '@C00960@' rather than a 'polymer chain'.
  3. @P04881-2@ in chain @P04740@ usually occurs without the formation of small molecules. However, cases exist where a low-molar-mass by-product is formed, as in the @P04740@ of oxazolidine-2,5-diones derived from amino acids (commonly termed amino-acid N-carboxy @A00354@). When a low-molar-mass by-product is formed, the adjective 'condensative' is recommended to give the term condensative chain polymerization
  4. The growth steps are expressed by: \[\text{P}_{x} + \text{M}\rightarrow \text{P}_{x + 1}\hspace{5pt}(+\ \text{L}) \hspace{35pt} \{x\}\in \{1,2,\ \dots \infty\};\] where \(P_{x}\) denotes the growing chain of @D01569@ \(x\), \(M\) a @M04017@ and \(L\) a low-molar-mass by-product formed in the case of condensative chain polymerization.
  5. The term 'chain @P04740@' may be qualified further, if necessary, to specify the type of chemical reactions involved in the growth step, e.g. ring-opening chain @P04740@, cationic chain @P04740@.
  6. There exist, exceptionally, some polymerizations that proceed via chain reactions that, according to the definition, are not chain polymerizations. For example, the @P04740@:
    proceeds via a radical @C00960@ with @I03098@ transfer of the radical centre. The growth step, however, involves reactions between molecules of all degrees of @P04740@ and, hence, the @P04740@ is classified as a @P04720@. If required, the classification can be made more precise and the @P04740@ described as a chain-reaction @P04720@.
PAC, 1996, 68, 2287. (Glossary of basic terms in polymer science (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)) on page 2306 [Terms] [Paper]