2016 Advanced Polymer Design for Energy Materials

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Energy Science and Engineering
Saito Reiko 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
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Course description and aims

There are many limitations for synthesis of polymers as energy materials.
This course focuses strategy of polymerization for energy materials, based on metal free polymerization of well-define polymer, emulsion polymerization for mass production, poly(acrylic acid) with different architectures, highly transparent and hard organic-silica nanomaterials.
The concept of Smith-Ewart theory is an essential tool to analyze and design the emulsion polymerization.
This approach is not only useful for energy materials, but is applicable to medial and other materials.
Students will have the chance to tackle practical problems by applying knowledge acquired through this course. This course facilitates students’ understanding of development of novel materials in polymer field.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Explain architecural control and fine polymerization of polymers for energy materials and the specific limitation and problems on the synthesis of energy materilas. .
2) Have an understanding of Smith-Ewart theory, and based on this, design the emulsion polymerization system.
3) Design the maerials of organic-inorganic composites based on their properties and morphology control.


Emulsion polymerization, Composites, Radical polymerization

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

At the beginning of each class, solutions to exercise problems assigned during the previous class are reviewed.
Before coming to class, students should read the course schedule and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.
Attendance is taken in every class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Overview of polymerization and polymers as energy materials Explain the definition of polymerizaton and energy materials. Students must make sure they understand what significance the course holds for them by checking their learning portfolio.
Class 2 Radical polymerization Explain the definition of Reaction mechanism of radical polymerization, kinetics of polymerization, and calculation of molecular weigh
Class 3 Specific strucrural polymers (block, and graft copolymers) Explain the definition of Architecutures and physical properties of copolymers. Syntheic routes of block and graft copolymers.
Class 4 Emulsion polymerization (Smith-Ewart theory) Explain the definition of Preparation of emulsion. Nucleation of initiation on emulsion polymerization. Smith-Ewart theory. Cases 1,2, and 3.
Class 5 Emulsion polymerization (Semi-Batch system) Explain the definition of Semi-batch system. Monomer flooded condition and monomer starved condition. Addition rate of monomer on MFC.
Class 6 Emulsion polymerization on living radical polymerization Explain the definition of Atom transfer radical polymerization. Stable free radical polymerization. RAFT polymerization. Morphology control of particles on emulsion copolymerization.
Class 7 Synthetic strategy of organic-silica composites Explain the definition of Synthesis of organic-silica composites with TEOS, POSS, perhydropolysilazane.
Class 8 Nanocomposites and Exercise problems to assess the students’ level of understanding on what has been taught. • Attendance will be taken during class. Review the course contents. Use the exercise problems to better understand the topics covered, and evaluate one’s own progress.


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

1) P.A.Lovell, M. S. El-Aasser, "Emulsion polymerization and emulsion polymers", Wiley ISBN: 978-0-471-96746-0
2) Some materials used in class can be found on OCW-i.

Assessment criteria and methods

1) Students will be assessed on their understanding of Synthetic strategy of polymers, emulsion polymerization, and design of composites, and their ability to apply them to solve problems.
2) Students’ course scores are based on midterm and final exams (80%) and exercise problems (20%).
3) The weights for learning outcomes 1–2 are 40 units each, and 3 is 20 unit.
4) Full attendance and completion of all experiments are compulsory.
5) The instructor may fail a student if he/she repeatedly comes to class late or resubmits reports too often.

Related courses

  • ENR.A405 : Interdisciplinary Energy Materials Science 1
  • ENR.A406 : Interdisciplinary Energy Materials Science 2
  • ENR.H501 : Advanced Chemical Materials for Energy Issues I
  • ENR.H502 : Advanced Chemical Materials for Energy Issues II

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites are necessary, but enrollment in the related courses is desirable.

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