(Of a polymer or polymer structure) in which the repeating units have no regular stereochemical configuration.
- Depending on the location of the side groups and the nature of the starting monomers, linear polymers can have various structural isomers denoted as isotactic, syndiotactic, or atactic.
- Traditional polymer synthesis results in the random (atactic) location of the side-groups either to the left or right of the polymer chain.
- But if there is no order, as is the case with the atactic polystyrene, packing can't occur.
Mid 19th century: from Greek ataktos, from a- 'not' + taktos 'arranged' + -ic.
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