2016 Soft Materials

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Academic unit or major
Organic and Polymeric Materials
Kakimoto Masa-Aki  Serizawa Takeshi 
Course component(s)
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Day/Period(Room No.)
at Tsinghua Univ. ()  
Course number
Academic year
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Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course is for students in Tokyo Tech-Tsinghua University joint graduate program. The course is held at Tsinghua University in Beijing and mainly deals with the fundamental concepts of soft materials. Since the instructors and the topics change every year, the course contents will be revised next year.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will acquire the following abilities:
1) Ability to explain important concepts necessary to design organic functional materials and polymers.
2) Ability to explain chain-growth polymerization including addition polymerization and ring-opening polymerization.
3) Ability to explain the mechanisms of radical, cationic, anionic, and coordination polymerizations.


Liquid crystal, organic functional materials, polymer synthesis, chain-growth polymerization, addition polymerization, ring-opening polymerization, radical polymerization, anionic polymerization, cationic polymerization

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

This course will proceed in the following order: (1) Fundamentals of liquid crystal, (2) Control of primary structures of polymers by various polymerizations.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Liquid crystal as intermediate phases Explain liquid crystal as intermediate phases.
Class 2 Order parameter of liquid crystal Explain order parameter of liquid crystal.
Class 3 Phase transition in liquid crystals Explain phase transition in liquid crystals.
Class 4 Physical properties of nematic liquid crystal Explain physical properties of nematic liquid crystal.
Class 5 Optical properties of dielectrics Explain optical properties of dielectrics.
Class 6 Optics of birefringent subject and thin film optics Explain optics of birefringent subject and thin film optics.
Class 7 Liquid Crystal Displays Explain liquid crystal displays.
Class 8 New Liquid Crystal Applications Explain new liquid crystal applications. Exercise problems to assess the students’ level will be shown at the end of the class.
Class 9 Fundamentals of polymer Explain fundamentals of polymer.
Class 10 Fundamentals of polymerization Explain fundamentals of polymerization.
Class 11 Chain-growth polymerization Explain chain-growth polymerization.
Class 12 Radical polymerization Explain radical polymerization.
Class 13 Anionic polymerization Explain anionic polymerization.
Class 14 Living polymerization Explain living polymerization.
Class 15 Cationic polymerization Explain cationic polymerization. Solve practice problems by accurate understanding of the above 9th-15th lectures.


Non required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Materials used in class can be found on OCW-i.

Assessment criteria and methods

Practice problems and interpretation for confirming the level of understanding (90%), level of class participation (10%) (The level of class
participation will be evaluated by discussion, brief examination in the lecture.)

Related courses

  • ZSH.P403 : Advanced Course in Surface Properties of Organic Materials A
  • MAT.P401 : Organic Optical Materials physics
  • CAP.P411 : Advanced Polymer Synthesis I
  • CAP.P412 : Advanced Polymer Synthesis 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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