2023 Introduction to Polymer Chemistry

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Chemical Science and Engineering
Tomita Ikuyoshi  Yamamoto Kimihisa  Kubo Shoichi  Osakada Kohtaro 
Class Format
Lecture    (HyFlex)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon7-8(M-B43 (H106),J2-203 (J221))  Thr1-2(M-B43 (H106),J2-203 (J221))  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

It is essential to learn synthetic methods of polymers for understanding of polymer science and engineering. This course provides an opportunity to learn general aspects of synthetic polymer chemistry as well as to study step-growth polymerizations (polycondensation, polyaddition, and addition condensation), and chain polymerizations (radical, ionic and coordination polymerizations), and polymer reaction. This course covers not only the basic aspects but also advanced topical researches and applications of polymers in materials science.

Student learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to understand the classification of the synthetic polymer chemistry and to know the relationship between the synthetic methods and features of polymer materials. In concrete, the following subjects will be explained:
1. Step-growth polymerizations such as polycondensation, polyaddtion, and addition condensation processes. Applications of the resulting polymers such as engineering plastics. Polymers with unique structures such as dendrimers.
2. Chain polymerizations such as radical, ionic, and coordination polymerizations. Precision control of molecular weight, stereoregularity, sequence, and end-structures of the polymers. Chain polymerizations consisting of ring-opening and condensation processes.
3. Features and applications of polymer reaction.


step-growth polymerization, polycondensation, polyaddition, addition condensation, engineering plastics, chain polymerization, addition polymerization, ring-opening polymerization, radical polymerization, cationic polymerization, anionic polymerization, living polymerization, coordination polymerization, polymer reaction, reactive polymer

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Practices and reports will be requested, if necessary.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Classification of synthetic methods of polymers Explain two synthetic methods of polymers from monomers (i.e., step-growth and chain polymerizations) and polymer reactions.
Class 2 Step-growth polymerization Explain fundamental features of the step-growth polymerization including the molecular weight and molecular weight distribution of the polymers.
Class 3 Polycondensation Explain typical examples of the polycondensation and application of the polymers such as engineering plastics to materials science.
Class 4 Polyaddition Explain typical examples of the polyaddition and its applications to polyurethanes, adhesions, etc.
Class 5 Addition condensation Explain typical examples of the addition condensation process and its applications to thermosetting resin such as phenol resin.
Class 6 Polymers with unique structures Explain the synthesis and applications of hyperbranched polymers and dendrimers by means of addition and condensation reactions.
Class 7 Chain polymerization Explain fundamental aspects of the chain polymerization based on the reaction patterns such as addition and ring-opening polymerizations, and based on the nature of the active species such as radical, ionic, and coordination polymerizations.
Class 8 Radical polymerization Explain the features of radical polymerization and four elementary reactions such as initiation, propagation, transfer, and termination reactions.
Class 9 Radical copolymerization Explain the features of radical copolymerization and information obtainable form the copolymerization such as monomer reactivity ratio.
Class 10 Living and controlled polymerizations Explain the definition of living and controlled polymerizations, and macromolecular design based on these techniques such as block and graft copolymerization, and synthesis of star-shaped polymers, surface-grafted polymers, and end-functionalized materials.
Class 11 Ionic polymerization Explain the features of anionic and cationic polymerzations, structures of monomers and initiators, and the polymerization mechanisms.
Class 12 Coordination polymerization Explain the features of coordination polymerization and its application to streoselective synthesis of the polymers.
Class 13 Ring-opening polymerization Explain the features of ring-opening polymerization including ring-opening isomerization polymerization and polymerization via monomer activation mechanism. Chain polymerization through condensation process will also be covered.
Class 14 Polymer reaction Explain the aspects of polymer reaction that utilizes both natural and synthetic polymers as starting materials and its applications to materials science.
Class 15 Examination Facilitate the deep understanding of the lectures through the examination.

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.


Will be announced.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Will be announced.

Assessment criteria and methods

Level of understanding is evaluated by examination (80%) and report (20%).

Related courses

  • CAP.I426 : Introduction to Polymer Science

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

Preferable to attend Introduction to Polymer Science (CAP.I426) in advance or to have the equivalent understanding level.


In principle, the course must be taken in a face-to-face format. If you wish to take the course online, contact the instructor in advance.

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