Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry

Rayon: A polymer whose molecular structure resembles natural cellulose (polymeric glucose), but that has been modified somewhat by chemical treatment. To produce rayon, natural cellulose is degraded, purified, and then reconstructed. Because of its natural origin and subsequent chemical modification, rayon is sometimes termed a semi-synthetic material.

Rayon's molecular structure closely resembles the cellulose (molecular structure shown here) from which it is derived.