Hyperbranched macromolecules (HMs, also called hyperbranched polymers) are highly branched three-dimensional (3D) structures in which all bonds converge to a focal point or core, and which have a multiplicity of reactive chain-ends. This review summarizes major types of synthetic strategies exploited to produce HMs, including the step-growth polycondensation, the self-condensing vinyl polymerization and ring opening polymerization. Compared to linear analogues, the globular and dendritic architectures of HMs endow new characteristics, such as abundant functional groups, intramolecular cavities, low viscosity, and high solubility. After discussing the general concepts, synthesis, and properties, various applications of HMs are also covered. HMs continue being materials for topical interest, and thus this review offers both concise summary for those new to the topic and for those with more experience in the field of HMs.
Keywords: bio-applications; carbon nanomaterial; hyperbranched macromolecules; photoelectric materials; polymerization; stabilizers.