Chiral polymer & Chiral monomer Examples, Characteristics

Chiral polymer

A chiral polymer is a polymer made up of non-superimposable mirror image molecules known as chiral monomer units. Chiral polymers, which have a particular handedness or orientation in space, are made up of repeating units that display chirality.

Examples of chiral polymer

Examples of chiral polymer are given below:

  • Protein
  • Cellulose
  • DNA

Chiral monomer

A chiral monomer is a molecule with a non-superimposable mirror image, which means that even when rotated or flipped, it cannot be superimposed on its mirror image. It can act as sub unit in building of chiral polymers.


Characteristics of chiral monomer

Characteristics of chiral monomers are:

  1. Optical activity
  2. Enantiomeric selectivity
  3. Biological activity
  4. Stereoselectivity
  5. Stability

1. Optical activity

Chiral monomer have an optical activity that allows them to rotate the plane of polarised light. This characteristic results from the molecule’s various interactions with right- and left-handed circularly polarised light.

2. Enantiomeric selectivity

is the ability of chiral monomers to interact with chiral compounds preferentially with one of their enantiomers over the other.

3. Biological activity

Numerous chiral monomers are present in biological systems and can display distinct biological activity as a result.

4. Stereoselectivity

Chiral monomers contain the property of stereoselectivity, which  permit them to relate with one stereoisomer over another in chemical reactions.

5. Stability

Chiral monomers’ stabilities can be changed depend  on their stereochemistry, which can have an effect on the strength and characteristics of the chiral polymer that is formed.

Examples of chiral monomer

Chiral monomer includes following examples

  1. Amino acid
  2. Sugar

1. Amino acid:

Proteins are constructed from chiral monomers called amino acids. Each amino acid has a core carbon atom that is connected to an

  • amino group (-NH2)
  • a carboxyl group (-COOH)
  • a hydrogen atom
  • and one or more side chains.

Each amino acid may have a distinct side chain.

2. Sugars:

Commonly present in carbs, sugars are chiral monomers. They have a carbon atom in the middle that is joined to a hydrogen atom, a hydroxyl group (-OH), and a side chain that also has carbon and hydrogen atoms.