Consider poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), a member of the family of silicone polymers:


Now, imagine its carbon analogue:


I've not been able to find any evidence that this carbon analogue has been experimentally prepared. Searching for "poly(dimethylalkoxane)" got me nowhere. I eventually searched for "dimethyl polyoxymethylene," which turned up the unsubstituted variant of the above, polyoxymethylene (POM):


as well as methyl-capped POM oligomers, polyoxymethylene dimethyl ethers:

dimethyl POM ether

But, no "poly(dimethyloxymethylene)" was forthcoming.

Has the carbon analogue of poly(dimethylsiloxane) been synthesized? If so, what name has it been given?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What you are looking for is the polymer of acetone, not "poly(dimethylalkoxane)". $\endgroup$
    – DHMO
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ @DHMO Sure! Whatever it would be called, I haven't found the name yet. If you find it and post an answer with a link & description... winner! $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ I have not been able to find anything... acetone does have dimers and trimers but those are not what you would expect... $\endgroup$
    – DHMO
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ So, if I read those links correctly, @Mithoron, the acetone polymerization apparently goes to products other than the polymer of interest? $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


The comments to the original question do well to demonstrate that acetone polyacetal (or polyacetone; names in the literature vary, but these are the most common) is extremely difficult to produce by typical polymerization methods; this is mainly due to thermodynamic reasons, though acetal dimers and trimers of acetone have been produced at very low temperatures.1

Polyoxymethylene is the polymeric form of paraformaldehyde (formaldehyde oligomers), which forms spontaneously in aqueous solutions of formaldehyde. The methyl-capped paraformaldehyde and polyoxymethylene would form if methanol is added to the solution; indeed, this is actually typically done to limit the length of paraformaldehyde oligomers. Polyoxymethylene, as a homopolymer, is quite stable and machinable, provided end-capping is performed; this is typically done with acetic anhydride.2

  1. Burnop, V. C. E. Polymer 1965, 6 (8), 411-417. DOI: 10.1016/0032-3861(65)90025-X
  2. Boyer, Lyndon D.; Sorenson, Wayne R.. Polyoxymethylene process. U.S. Patent 3355428, issued November 28, 1967.

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