2020 Organic Synthetic Chemistry B

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Materials Science and Engineering
Michinobu Tsuyoshi 
Class Format
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue3-4(S8-102)  Fri5-6(S8-102)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

This course gives an overview of synthetic polymer chemistry and polymerization mechanism. Driving forces for the initiation of various polymerization methods, such as addition polymerization, polycondensation, ring-opening polymerization, and metal-catalyzed polymerization, are explained. In particular, the kinetics and theory of radical polymerization and polycondensation are explained in detail, and the key factor in determining molecular weights and polydispersity is shown. Also, the historical discovery of controlled polymerization methods, such as anionic polymerization and metal-catalyzed polymerization, is introduced. In addition, the synthesis and properties of branched polymers and networked polymers are shown.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will:
1) Gain the fundamental knowledge about the synthetic polymer chemistry.
2) Understand the factors in determining molecular weights and polydispersity in both cases of chain-growth polymerization and step-growth polymerization.
3) Develop practical skills for designing commodity plastics.


Polymers, organic chemistry, radical polymerization, kinetics, molecular weight distribution, copolymerization, ionic polymerization, living polymerization, metal-catalyzed polymerization, stereochemistry, ring-opening polymerization, polycondensation, polyaddition, nonlinear polymers, polymer reactions

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

In the first half of the class, a summary of the previous lecture followed by the main points of the day's lecture are given. In the latter half, these main points are discussed in detail. Students are asked to provide solutions to some of the questions that have been posed as necessary. Always check the required learning for each class and be sure to complete them as part of preparation and review.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Polymers: Polymers and Oligomers Understand the definition of polymers and explain the difference between polymers and oligomers.
Class 2 Chemistry of Radical Polymerization Explain the reaction mechanism of radical polymerization.
Class 3 Kinetics of Radical Polymerization Explain the kinetics of radical polymerization.
Class 4 Control of Molecular Weight Distribution Explain the molecular weight distribution and how to control it.
Class 5 Radical Copolymerization Explain the composition of copolymers synthesized by radical copolymerization of plural vinyl monomers.
Class 6 Structure and Reactivity of Monomers Explain the reactivity difference of vinyl monomers with different substituents.
Class 7 Radical Polymerization under Various Reaction Fields Explain the radical polymerization under various conditions.
Class 8 Ionic Polymerization and Living Polymerization Explain the mechanism of ionic polymerization and the definition of living polymerization.
Class 9 Metal-Catalyzed Polymerization and Stereospecific Polymerization Explain the olefin polymerization in the presence of metal-catalysts and the stereochemistry of the resulting polymers.
Class 10 Ring-Opening Polymerization Explain the mechanism of ring-opening polymerization.
Class 11 Polycondensation and Polyaddition Explain the mechanism of polycondensation and polyaddition as well as the properties of the resulting polymers.
Class 12 Block Copolymers and Graft Copolymers Explain the synthesis and properties of block copolymers and graft copolymers.
Class 13 Nonlinear Polymers Explain the synthesis and properties of nonlinear and branched polymers.
Class 14 Polymer Reactions Explain polymer reactions and the properties of the resulting polymers.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Inoue, Shohei. Synthetic Polymer Chemistry. Tokyo: Shokabo; ISBN 978-4-7853-3087-3. (Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Tsuruta, Teiji. Synthetic Polymer Reactions. Tokyo: Nikkankogyoshinbun; ISBN 4-526-00030-2. (Japanese)
Isono, Yoshinobu, Shiono, Tomoo, Tezuka, Yasuyuki. Molecular Weights of Polymers. Tokyo: Kyoritsu Shuppan; ISBN 4-320-04301-4. (Japanese)

Assessment criteria and methods

Student course sores are evaluated by drills and assignments.

Related courses

  • MAT.P211 : Organic Chemistry (Structure-I)
  • MAT.P212 : Organic Chemistry (Structure-II)
  • MAT.P213 : Organic Chemistry (Reaction-A)
  • MAT.P214 : Organic Chemistry (Reaction-B)

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

It is desired that students have taken Organic Chemistry (Structure-I), Organic Chemistry (Structure-II), Organic Chemistry (Reaction-A), and Organic Chemistry (Reaction-B).

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