Polymers can be largely divided into two categories: organic polymers and inorganic polymers. Organic polymers tend to lose their advantageous material properties (e.g., light weight, flexibility, fabricability, elasticity, mechanical strength, conductivity, optoelectricity) in the presence of oxygen, ozone, corrosion, ultraviolet radiation or at extreme high/low temperatures. Nonetheless, most organic polymers used heavily and widely in modern daily life, hardly decompose in the natural environment and burn releasing toxic chemicals as well, creating serious environmental pollution.
Furthermore, the availability of raw materials for organic polymers, whose backbone chains mainly consist of carbon atoms linked together or separated by heteroatoms, such as oxygen or nitrogen, is limited by the anticipated shortage of natural petroleum/coal resources. Therefore, research on the design, synthesis, characterization and applications of inorganic polymers, inorganic-organic hybrid polymers or organometallic polymers is needed to avoid these problems.