Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry

Nylon: A linear, synthetic copolymer composed of secondary amides separated by two or more methylene groups.




Adipoyl dichloride

Nylon-6,6 can be synthesized by polymerization of 1,6-hexanediamine (a monomer, and the nucleophile) and adipoyl dichloride (another monomer, and the electrophile). Each amide is formed by a nucleophilic carbonyl substitution reaction. The 6,6 designation indicates that the polymer was synthesized from two monomers, each of which has six carbon atoms.


Nylon 6 is synthesized by ring opening polymerization of caprolactam. In this case there is only one monomer. Each monomer unit of the polymer is shown in a different color.