Natta, Giulio


Italian polymer chemist (1903–1979) who developed the theory and technology of stereospecific polymerisation. Stereospecific polymerisation has been a revolution in the field of macromolecular chemistry. Besides the discoverer, Natta was its undisputed ruler. With his brilliant insights and tireless work, he was able to guide and coordinate the interdisciplinary work of his collaborators to the discovery and the study of more than a hundred new polymers, over a period of 15 years. The synthesis of isotactic polypropylene was the last great discovery – in terms of economic importance – still possible in the traditional field of industrial chemistry. For several years, the most significant results obtained in the field of stereospecific polymerisation continued to come from Natta's laboratories. Since then, the stereospecific polymerisation continues even nowadays to be the subject of study.

Keywords: Ziegler; polymer; polypropylene; catalyst; Nobel Prize; Politecnico di Milano; Milan

Figure 1. A young Giulio Natta. © Giuseppe Natta Archive.
Figure 2. Giulio Natta and his wife Rosita – San Remo (Ligurian Coast). © Giuseppe Natta Archive.
Figure 3. Giulio Natta and some of his collaborators – Politecnico di Milano. © Giuseppe Natta Archive.

Further Reading

Gillispie CC (ed.) (1970–1980) Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

James LK (ed.) (1993) Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 1901–1992. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society and Chemical Heritage Foundation.

McMurray EJ (ed.) (1995) Notable Twentieth Century Scientists. New York and London: Gale Research.

Natta G and Pino P (1955) Crystalline high polymers of α‐olefins. Journal of the American Chemical Society 77: 1708–1710.

Natta G and Danusso F (eds) (1967) Stereoregular Polymers and Stereospecific Polymerizations: The Contributions of Giulio Natta and his School to Polymer Chemistry. New York: Pergamon.

Pasquon I and Giannini U (1984) Catalytic olefin polimerization. In: Anderson JR and Boudart M, (eds). Catalysis Science and Technology. Berlin: Springer‐Verlag.

Pasquon I, Porri L and Giannini U (1989) Stereoregular linear polymers. In: Mark HF, Bikales NM, Overberger CG and Menges G, (eds). Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Engineering, 2nd edn. Vol. 15. New York: John Wiley.

Wasson T (ed.) (1987) Nobel Prize Winners. New York: HW Wilson Company.

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How to Cite close
Pasquon, Italo(Feb 2015) Natta, Giulio. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002886.pub2]