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The breakthrough of dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers

SpecialChem / Nov 29, 2006

Polymers are generally more or less long linear macromolecules with a little number of rather short branches. The same monomer can lead to branched or linear structure, which has several effects on the end properties. A well-known example is the polyethylene with two basic forms: 1. The branched one: the Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE): Macromolecules have some short branches, which reduces the melting point, tensile strength and crystallinity. Polymers are relatively flexible because of the high volume of the branched molecule and the low crystallinity. 2. The unbranched linear form: the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), denser, tougher and more crystalline. A few decades ago, macromolecules with numerous branches, more or less ordered, were studied and developed as dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers (HBP) The word "dendrimer" comes from the Greek one 'dendros or dendra', meaning trees. As a tree, starting from a single focal point or core, each branch of the dendrimer divides into two other branches and so forth down to the terminal functionalized ends.

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