The study of the synthesis, characterization and properties of polymeric molecules or macromolecules is a sub-discipline of chemistry known as polymeric chemistry. Other sub-disciplines of chemistry such as analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry have similar principles and methods used for polymer chemistry. Polymer science or nanotechnology can be included in the broader areas of polymer chemistry.
According to their origin, polymers can be further subdivided into biopolymers and synthetic polymers. The structural and functional materials that make up most organic matter in organisms are biofilm-forming substances. Structural materials featured in plastics, synthetic fibres, mechanical parts, paints, building materials, furniture and adhesives are synthetic polymers. They can be divided into thermoplastic polymers and thermosetting plastics. Almost all synthetic polymers are derived from petrochemicals.