CHEM 425

Polymer Chemistry and Dynamics

3 Undergraduate credits
Effective January 12, 2020 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

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.

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.

Fall 2020

Section Title Instructor
01 Polymer Chemistry and Dynamics McCready, Erica Martin Books Course details