Editor's choice: polymer chemistry

The advent of synthetic polymers overturned our early understanding of organic molecules, and revolutionized many aspects of life. This year marks the 100th anniversary since Hermann Staudinger proposed that polymers are networks of covalently bound monomers. This has been the central tenet of the development of now-ubiquitous rubbers, plastics, and resins.

In addition to being an indispensable element of daily life, synthetic polymers have found uses in areas as diverse as biomedical technology, renewable energy, and environmental sensors. Moreover, the excellent adaptability and processability of polymeric materials allow facile coupling with other organic and inorganic materials to form functional composites, which can display properties different to their component parts.

Here we present a small selection of our latest and most popular papers exploiting the potential of polymeric materials in a variety of applications.

Shredded bits of polypropene plastic


Sensors and Scavengers

Renewable Energy