Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Understand the meaning of macromolecules and the characteristics properties of macromolecules in relation to small molecules.
2. Know the repetitive chemical building block of commercial, at least, polymers.
3. Know the mechanisms by which polymerization reactions take place (i.e. chain, step polymerization), as well as the most important polymers of each class.
4. Understand the characteristics of copolymerization reactions.
5. Know the polymer additives.
6. Solve problems/exercises related to the kinetics of polymerization reactions, either free radical or step.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The concept of the macromolecule. Classification and nomenclature of polymers.
2. Macromolecule structure
Structural isomerism and stereoisomerism. Macromolecule structure
3. Size and shape of macromolecules
Dimensions of macromolecular chains
4. Average molecular weights of polymer
Molecular weight distribution and average polymer molecular weights
5. Determination of average molecular weights
Experimental techniques for determining the average molecular weight and the entire molecular weight distribution of polymers
6. Solid-state of polymers
Amorphous and crystalline state. Kinetics of crystallization. Glass transition temperature of polymers.
7. Polymerization reactions
Similarities and differences of different polymerization reaction mechanisms.
8. Step polymerization
Mechanism of reaction. Kinetics of step polymerization. Molecular weight distribution. Linear and crosslinked polymers.
9. Step polymerization polymers
Polyesters, polyamides, polyurethanes, polyethers, polysulfides, urea-formaldehyde resins, phenol-formaldehyde, melamine-formaldehyde
10. Chain polymerization. Free radical polymerization
Mechanism of reaction. Polymerization kinetics. Chain transfer reactions. Initiators, monomers, inhibitors, retarders. Estimation of average molecular weights and molecular weight distribution of polymers. Effect of diffusion-controlled phenomena on the polymerization reaction.
11. Anionic, cationic and stereospecific polymerization. Reaction mechanisms.
12. Polymers from chain polymerization
Polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyisoprene, poly(vinyl chloride), polytetrafluoroethylene, poly (methyl methacrylate), poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate), polyacrylamide, poly(vinyl acetate), polyethers.
Copolymer composition. Reactivity ratios. Types of copolymers. Reaction kinetics.
14. Polymer additives
Fillers, thermal and UV stabilizers, plasticizers, stabilizers, flame retarders.
15. Natural, conductive polymers.
15. Applications of polymers (medicine, etc.)