International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Nomenclature of Regular Single-Strand Organic Polymers

(IUPAC Recommendations 2002)

Prepared for publication by J. Kahovec Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Heyrovsky Sq. 2, 162 06 Prague, Czech Republic

Members of Working Party (1990-2000):
J. Kahovec, R. B. Fox, and K. Hatada.

World Wide Web version Prepared by G. P. Moss
School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London,
Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, UK

These Rules are as close as possible to the published version [see Pure Appl. Chem., 2002, 74, 1921-1956. Copyright IUPAC; reproduced with the permission of IUPAC]. If you need to cite these rules please quote this reference as their source.

A PDF of this document is available.

Any comments, corrections or suggestions for a future edition should be e-mailed to


A structure-based nomenclature for regular single-strand organic polymers is described. In concept, a generic name for the polymer (ABC)n is poly(ABC), in which (ABC) is a constitutional repeating unit (CRU) representing the chemical structure of the polymer chain, and A, B, and C are the subunits that comprise the CRU. To provide a unique and unambiguous name, rules are given to identify the prefered CRU and to name it using the names of A, B, and C based on current organic nomenclature. Provisions are made for naming end-groups of the polymers and the polymer substituents. In addition, the document contains a glossary of concepts and definitions, a list of common subunit names, and a variety of examples of structure-based polymer names. The document is a revision of the 1975 Rules.


Continued with 1. Introduction
Return to IUPAC Chemical Nomenclature homepage.