Chapter 8 – Isoprene


Chemisrty of the Molecule:


   Rubber is a very unique material with its chemical structure giving the reasons for its unique properties. The chemical manipulation of this structure produced a molecule that is used in many aspects of our lives. Rubber in its natural state is a polymer of the molecule isoprene. This molecule with only five repeating carbon atoms is the smallest repeating unit of any natural polymer. The first experiments on the structure of rubber was conducted by Michael Faraday. He is credited with the establishment of the formula of rubber in 1826, C5H8. The isoprene structure has two double bonds on adjacent carbon atoms, but rotation occurs around any sinlge bond between the two carbons. So there are more than one possible twistings that remain the same compound. Natural rubber is formed when these isoprene molecules add to one another and the polymerization in rubber creates cis…

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