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CHEM 425 Polymer Chemistry and Dynamics

This course is intended for Chemistry and Biochemistry majors. Polymers span multiple industries and have unique properties that allow for their use in a wide range of applications. This course will focus on multiple synthesis pathways and explore the different physical states that polymers can attain. Students will learn about polymer material properties, including viscoelasticity and molecular weight. The course will also cover multiple industrially relevant topics, including adhesives, sustainable polymers, coatings, and polymerization at scale. Students will be exposed to polymer lab techniques and characterization through in-class demos.


Special information

First day attendance is mandatory.
3 Undergraduate credits

Effective January 12, 2020 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Explain various polymer synthesis pathways (step growth, chain growth, controlled).
  • Compare reaction rates and mechanisms for the different synthetic routes and their resulting molecular weight distributions.
  • Analyze data generated from various polymer characterization techniques.
  • Explain the different physical states of polymers ¿ glassy, crystalline, melt, solution, gel.
  • Explain viscoelasticity and how to measure its properties.
  • Review industrially relevant topics ¿ adhesives, sustainable polymers, coatings, polymerization at scale.
  • Complete a research project on a polymers topic.