2023 Introduction to Polymer Physical Properties

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Chemical Science and Engineering
Shishido Atsushi  Imaoka Takane 
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Course description and aims

This course provides students with basic knowledge of crystals and hierarchical structures that form in the solid state of typical polymer materials, as well as phase transition phenomena and crystallization phenomena. The instructor also explains the principles of specific experimental techniques and analysis techniques for examining the solid structure of polymers, as well as providing physicochemical basics related to characteristic thermal, electrical, and optical properties shown by polymer solids.
When using polymer substances as materials, it is necessary to understanding their characteristic solid structure and properties. Polymer solids form a variety of aggregate structures based on the influence of first order molecular structures and molecular interaction, as well as external environmental influences such as temperature and pressure. For structures formed by polymers in the solid state, students study their characteristics and what measurement methods should be used to examine them. Further, students study how the thermal, electrical, and optical properties shown by polymers in the solid state relate to their solid structure. Students from other graduate majors are also provided with the opportunity to become familiar with the basics of solid structure and properties of polymers.

Student learning outcomes

This course is for students without a background in polymer science. Students learn basic knowledge about solid structure properties from polymer physics. Specifically they will acquire the following skills.
1. Be able to explain the hierarchical structure of polymer crystals
2. Be able to explain polymer structures, and measurement and analysis methods for degree of crystallization and orientation
3. Be able to explain the crystal structure and transition behavior of typical polymers
4. Be able to explain the mechanical properties and crystallization behavior of polymer crystals
5. Be able to explain phase-separated structure and orientation structure
6. Be able to explain melting phenomena and glass transition
7. Be able to explain principles and phenomena of electrical properties
8. Be able to explain principles of optical properties


Hierarchical structure, Lamellae, Spherulites, Extended Chain Crystals, X-ray Diffraction, Vibrational Spectroscopy, NMR, Scattering Measurement, Microscopy, Orientational Order, Crystallization Degree, Polymer Crystals, Young's Modulus, Crystallization, Microphase Separation Structures, Melting, Glass Transition, Dielectric Properties, Piezoelectricity, Birefringence

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Class is proceeded in accordance with the textbook. At the beginning of each class, solutions to exercise problems assigned during the previous class are reviewed. In the last 15 minite of each class, students are given exercise problems related to what is taught on that day.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Structure of polymers Explain hierarchical structure of polymer crystals, folding chain crystal (lamellae, spherulites), extended chain crystals.
Class 2 Measurements of polymer structures Explain measurement methods of polymer structures and measurements and analysis of crystallization degree and orientational order.
Class 3 Thermodynamics of Polymers Explain the properties of polymer chains, the interactions and expressions with other chains and solvents, the stability of higher-order structures, and the driving forces of phase transitions.
Class 4 Exercises to check for understandingCrystallization in the Molding Process. Exercises related to the contents of the first three sessions to check the level of understanding.
Class 5 Mechanical properties of polymers Explain the methods of testing the mechanical properties of polymers and the resulting mechanical properties of polymers based on their structures.
Class 6 Optical properties of polymers Explain fundamentals of optical properties.
Class 7 Thermal properties of polymers Explain thermal analysis data of polymers, phase transition behavior and thermal properties.

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.


Society of Polymer Science, Japan eds. Kisokoubunnshikagak, Chap. 4, Chap. 5 Sec. 2 and 3, Tokyo Kagaku Dojin, ISBN4-8079-0635-6 (In Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Hiromi Kitano et.al, Chemistry of Polymers, Sankyoshuppan, ISBN978-4-7827-0544-5 (In Japanese)
Junji Watanabe eds., Polymer linked more and more from molecules to materials: organize the fragmented knowledge, Maruzen, ISBN978-4621081808 (In Japanese)

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge for fundamentals of solid state structures and properties for polymers, experimental methods and analysis will be assessed.
Reports (paper or oral) 70%, exercise problems 30%.

Related courses

  • CAP.T402 : Introduction to Polymer Physics II
  • CAP.P421 : Advanced Polymer Properties I
  • CAP.P422 : Advanced Polymer Properties II
  • CAP.P423 : Advanced Polymer Structures I
  • CAP.P424 : Advanced Polymer Structures II

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

nothing special

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Atsushi Shishido: ashishid[at]res.titech.ac.jp
Takane Imaoka: timaoka[at]res.titech.ac.jp

Office hours

After class, or contact by e-mail in advance to schedule an appointment.

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