2023 Organic Synthetic Chemistry B

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Materials Science and Engineering
Michinobu Tsuyoshi 
Class Format
Lecture    (Face-to-face)
Media-enhanced courses
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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 theory of polycondensation is explained in detail, and the key factors in determining molecular weights and polydispersity are 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, 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 Ionic Polymerization and Living Polymerization Explain the mechanism of ionic polymerization and the definition of living polymerization.
Class 2 Metal-Catalyzed Polymerization and Stereospecific Polymerization Explain the olefin polymerization in the presence of metal-catalysts and the stereochemistry of the resulting polymers.
Class 3 Ring-Opening Polymerization Explain the mechanism of ring-opening polymerization.
Class 4 Polycondensation and Polyaddition Explain the mechanism of polycondensation and polyaddition as well as the properties of the resulting polymers.
Class 5 Block Copolymers and Graft Copolymers Explain the synthesis and properties of block copolymers and graft copolymers.
Class 6 Nonlinear Polymers Explain the synthesis and properties of nonlinear and branched polymers.
Class 7 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.


The Society of Polymer Science, Japan. Fundamental Polymer Science, 2nd Ed. Tokyo: Tokyo Kagaku Dojin; ISBN 978-4-8079-0962-9. (Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

The Society of Polymer Science, Japan. Fundamental Polymer Science, Practice. Tokyo: Tokyo Kagaku Dojin; ISBN 978-4-8079-0754-0. (Japanese)

Assessment criteria and methods

Student course sores are evaluated by drills and final examination.

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)
  • MAT.P314 : Organic Synthetic Chemistry A
  • MAT.P316 : Organic Synthetic Chemistry C

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

It is desired that students take Organic Chemistry (Structure-I), Organic Chemistry (Structure-II), Organic Chemistry (Reaction-A), Organic Chemistry (Reaction-B), Organic Synthetic Chemistry A, and Organic Synthetic Chemistry C.

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