Chemical Structure-Gelfand - Carnegie Mellon University

Sample Chemical Structure

Chemical formula/structure of an ethylene molecule:

 chemstruct1or CH2=CH2 or C2H4

Chemical formula/structure of an ethylene monomer:

 chemstruct2or —(CH2-CH2)— or C2H4
The — symbols at the ends of the formula represent a monomer that is ready to react/connect to another monomer.

Chemical formula/structure of a growing polyethylene chain:

chemstruct3 
or —(CH2-CH2)x—

where x=number of monomers, usually in the thousands.


It should be pointed out that when the polyethylene chain is finished growing, two Hydrogen atoms are added to 'cap' (finish) the chain ends.