In organic chemistry and biochemistry, a side chain is a chemical group that is attached to a core part of the molecule called "main chain" or backbone. The placeholder R is often used as a generic placeholder for alkyl (saturated hydrocarbon) group side chains in chemical structure diagrams. To indicate other non-carbon groups in structure diagrams, X, Y, or Z is often used. The R, historically, was introduced by 19th-century French chemist Charles Frédéric Gerhardt and may be derived from radical, or from residue and its German equivalent Rest.
In polymer science, the side chain or pendant chain is oligomeric or polymeric offshoot extends from the backbone chain of a polymer. Side chains have noteworthy influence on a polymer's properties, mainly its crystallinity and density. An oligomeric branch may be termed a short-chain branch and a polymeric branch may be termed a long-chain branch. Side groups are different from side chains; they are neither oligomeric nor polymeric.
See also 
- Jensen W.B., Journal of Chemical Education 87, 360 (2010)
|This chemistry-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This article about polymer science is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|