2022 Introduction to Polymer Science

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Chemical Science and Engineering
Tomita Ikuyoshi  Imaoka Takane 
Class Format
Lecture    (Livestream)
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Course description and aims

This course introduces the fundamentals of polymer synthesis, especially step-growth polymerization, and also covers the historical aspects of polymer science. Students will learn the basic properties of polymers and the concept of molecular weights in polymer science.
For students of other graduate majors, this course provides an opportunity to learn about frontier researches in the fields related to polymer chemistry.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Explain the definition of polymers and the historical aspects of polymer science.
2) Explain the features of polymers including molecular weights.
3) Explain polycondensation, polyaddition and addition-condensation.
4) Explain the basic properties of polymer solutions and polymer solids.
5) Explain process chemistry for polymers.


History of polymer science、Molecular weight、Molecular weight distribution、Primary structure, Higher-order structure, Step‐growth polymerization、Polycondensation、Polyaddition、Addition-condensation、Phase transition

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Lecture and excise

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 History of polymer science Explain the definition of polymers.
Class 2 Structures and molecular weight of polymers Explain the structures, molecular weights and polydispersity index.
Class 3 Characterization of polymers Explain the measurement methods of molecular weights for polymer materials (GPC, Light scattering).
Class 4 General introduction to polymer synthesis1 Explain the features of step-growth polymerization, polyaddition, addition-condensation and the reactions of polymers.
Class 5 General introduction to polymer synthesis2 Explain chain polymerization.
Class 6 Properties of polymer solutions Explain the behaviors of polymers in a solution using a simple model.
Class 7 Properties of polymer solids Explain the behaviors of polymers in the solid state materials.

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.


To be announced.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

To be announced.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge of polymer science and synthesis. Final exam 80%, exercise problems 20%.

Related courses

  • CAP.I427 : Introduction to Polymer Chemistry
  • CAP.I437 : Introduction to Polymer Physical Properties

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

Fundamentals of organic chemistry

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