Introduction to Polymer Science

Course Description

Learn how polymers, widely used in everything from clothing to paints, drug delivery to electronics, function. Discover which applications are appropriate for different polymers, and how polymers can be synthesized. Through classroom discussion, presentations, and journal club, explore the interrelationship between molecular structure, morphology, and properties, develop characterization techniques, and evaluate environmental impact and sustainability issues relating to polymers.

Course Contents

Week 1: Introduction, Classification of Polymers
Week 2: Synthesis of polymers: Polycondensation
Weeks 3-4: Synthesis of polymers: Chain
Weeks 5-6: Polymers in solution
Weeks 7-8: Polymers in the solid state
Weeks 9-10: Mechanical properties of polymers
Weeks 10-11: Polymers for biological applications; biomacromoelcules
Weeks 12-13: Semiconducting polymers and electronics applications
Week 14: Polymers in the environment


Grading: There will be a total of 100 combined earnable points.

Quizzes (5 x 8 points): A 15-minute quiz will be held during weeks 2, 4, 6, 10, and 12.

Journal club presentation (20 points): Each student must lead one journal club presentation during the term.

Report (20 points): In week 8, a report will be due on a topic related to polymers.

Presentation (20 points): An in-class oral 30-minute presentation on a topic related to polymers.

Reference Books

Principles of Polymerization, George Odian;
Introduction to Physical Polymer Science, L. H. Sperling.
Lectures notes: via course material on Teams

Research Specialties