Course Coordinator: 
Christine Luscombe
Introduction to Polymer Science

Polymers are ubiquitous and are used in everything from clothing, plastics, paints, and adhesives. They are also used in biological applications including drug delivery and tissue engineering, and many nature’s macromolecules are polymers. This course will cover the synthesis of polymers, as well the interrelationship between molecular structure, morphology, and properties. Applications of polymers will be discussed and the course will end with a discussion on the environmental impact of polymers. 

Target students  

This course is intended for those interested in learning how the most ubiquitous material, out of all materials classes, function. The course does not require prior knowledge of polymers but it is intended that we will end with graduate level understanding of polymers. The course will cover a wide range of applications including using polymers for electronics and biological applications and thus should be suitable for a wide range of students.   

Students successfully completing this course will be able to: - Differentiate common approaches to synthesize polymers - Plan characterization techniques that should be used to study the molecular structure and morphology of polymers based on polymer type - Identify what polymer can be used for which applications and why - Evaluate environmental sustainability issues surrounding polymers
Course Content: 

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 

Course Type: 
Quizzes (5 x 8 points), Journal club presentation (20 points), Report (20 points), Presentation (20 points)
Text Book: 
Lectures notes: via course material on eFront
Reference Book: 
Principles of Polymerization, George Odian
Introduction to Physical Polymer Science, L. H. Sperling
Lectures notes: via course material on eFront. 
Prior Knowledge: