Polymers in SciFinder

There are many unique rules and special tips for where and how to find information on polymers in the SciFinder Chemical Abstracts database.

Search by Molecular Formula

Addition polymers and most condensation polymers put the molecular formula of the monomers in Hill order (carbons, hydrogens, then other atoms in alphabetical order). For heterogenious copolymers, separate monomer formulas by dots. Enclose all formulas in brackets and and close with an “X”

  • propene homopolymer: (C3H6)x
  • styrene-isoprene copolymers(C8H8 . C5H8)x 
  • styrene-butadiene-ethene polymers(C8H8 . C4H6 . C2H4)x 

Structural repeating units of symmetric condensation polymers put the formula of the repeating unit within brackets and close with an “N”

  • polybutylene terephthalate(C14H12O4)n 
  • α-methyl-ω-hydroxy PE(C2H4O)nCH4O

Search Tips

Polymer searching with Explore by Molecular Formula:

  • Is a closed end search
    • No variables may be included
    • The number of components is fixed
  • May yield results that include several structural isomers
  • May require exclusion of isomers with Refine by Exact Structure
    • Multiple structures can be included in one refine step
    • Refine can also be used to eliminate isotope labeled monomers 
    • Cannot Refine SRUs by Exact Structure because of end bonds, use Substructure Search and Lock Out all attachments except at end bond locations

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