Oligomer vs. Monomer

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(chemistry) A compound intermediate between a monomer and a polymer, normally having a specified number of units between about five and a hundred.


(chemistry) A relatively small molecule which can be covalently bonded to other monomers to form a polymer.


A molecule composed of a small number of linked monomer units; a short polymer; - compounds called oligomers have less than one hundred monomer units and usually less than thirty. Oligomers of increasing length are called dimer, trimer, tetramer, pentamer, hexamer, heptamer, octamer, nonamer, decamer, etc. In colloquial laboratory jargon, they may also be referred to as nine-mer, ten-mer, eleven-mer, twelve-mer, etc., especially for oligomers of greater than eight units.


The basic conceptual building unit of a polymer; a molecule of low molecular weight which may combine with other molecules to form a molecule in a chain or branched form having high molecular weight; as, amino acids are the monomer units which are combined to form proteins; vinylic plastics are formed from monomers having a vinyl group.


a polymer whose molecules consist of relatively few repeating units.


a simple compound whose molecules can join together to form polymers



In chemistry and biochemistry, an oligomer ( (listen)) is a molecule that consists of a few similar or identical repeating units which could be derived, actually or conceptually, from copies of a smaller molecule, its monomer. The name is composed from Greek elements oligo-, and -mer, .

‘a few’; ‘parts’;


a molecule that can be bonded to other identical molecules to form a polymer.


A monomer ( MON-ə-mər; mono-, + -mer, ) is a molecule that can react together with other monomer molecules to form a larger polymer chain or three-dimensional network in a process called polymerization.

‘one’; ‘part’;

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