Over the last century, as synthetic polymers became more prevalent, a desire arose to fine-tune the physical properties of these materials to produce the optimal end-product for a given application.
One method researchers explored was to mix two or more types of monomers so that a single chain of the resulting polymer would be a combination and potentially possess a unique set of physical properties. Copolymers, the term used to describe these polymers consisting of two or more different constituent units, can exhibit a variety of monomer patterns and structures (e.g. random, alternating, block, comb). While the monomer arrangement and overall shape of the copolymers can affect their physical properties, so can the relative concentration of each monomer present.