Chain scission

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chain scission is a term used in polymer chemistry describing the degradation of a polymer main chain.[1] It is often caused by thermal stress (heat) or ionizing radiation (e.g. light, UV radiation or gamma radiation), often involving oxygen. During chain cleavage, the polymer chain is broken at a random point in the backbone to form two - mostly still highly molecular - fragments.[2]

IUPAC definition
Polymer chain scission: Chain scission of a polymer: A chemical reaction resulting in the breaking of skeletal bonds.[3]

Depolymerization, on the other hand, is the elimination of low molecular weight substances (monomers, dimers and suchlike) from a polymer.[4]


  1. ^ IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version:  (2006–) "chain scission". doi:10.1351/goldbook.C00961
  2. ^ Sebastian Kotzenburg, Michael Maskus, Oskar Nuyken: Polymere – Synthese, Eigenschaften und Anwendungen, Springer Spektrum, 2014, S. 440–441, ISBN 978-3-642-34772-6.
  3. ^ Jenkins, A. D.; Kratochvíl, P.; Stepto, R. F. T.; Suter, U. W. (1 January 1996). "Glossary of basic terms in polymer science (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)". Pure and Applied Chemistry. 68 (12): 2287–2311. doi:10.1351/pac199668122287.
  4. ^ Otto-Albrecht Neumüller (Herausgeber): Römpps Chemie Lexikon, Frank’sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart, 1983, 8. Auflage, S. 891, ISBN 3-440-04513-7.