The course provide an introduction to polymer science and is meant for students with no prior knowledge on polymers. The goal is to provide them with a basic knowledge on the synthesis and molecular weight characterization of polymers. The course is preparatory to advanced courses in polymer science and physics.
The goal is to provide students with a basic knowledge of the experimental procedures for the synthesis, purification, structural and molecular weight characterization of polymers.
Understanding the basic definitions, structural features and chemical properties of polymers. To understand the classic polymerization mechanisms used for the bulk production of polymers. To understand basic structure-property relationships.
1. Introduction to polymers science Definitions and classifications: polymer, monomer, macromolecules, homopolymer, copolymer. Plastics and their relevance. Natural, synthetic and artificial polymers. Inorganic polymers. Classification of polymers on the basis of the chemical structure of belonging. Statistical, alternating, block and graft copolymers and their relevance. Phase separation of and morphologies of block copolymers containing incompatible segments. Geometric isomerism, configurations and conformations of polymers.
2. Molecular weights of polymers and molecular weight distribution; number and weight average values; polydispersity.
3. Amorphous and crystalline polymers. Definition of amorphous and crystalline materials. Specificity of the amorphous state in polymers: stable and metastable amorphous state. Crystalline state: requirements for achieving crystallinity in polymers; semi-crystalline polymers; morphology of polymeric crystals (lamellae and spherulites). Amorphous state: glass temperature temperature.
4. Synthesis of polymers. Polycondensations and polyadditions. Relevance of polymers from ste-wise polymerization (nylon and polyesters). Dependence of the degree of polymerization on the reaction parameters in the absence and in the presence of monofunctional monomers. Polymerization with a radical mechanism: characteristics of the monomers polymerizable by this way (vinyl monomers). General characteristics of the process: rapid, exothermic reactions composed of three fundamental stages, initiation, propagation and termination. Chain transfer: Mark-Houwink-Sakurada equation. Inhibition and delay reactions. Emulsion and suspension radical polymerization processes. Introduction to polymerization mechanisms with ionic intermediates. Introduction to steeospecific polymerization mechanisms.
5. Determination of molecular weights of polymers: size exclusion chromatography.
1) Synthesis of a linear water soluble polymer by step-wise polyaddition reaction.
2) Synthesis of a polyhexamethylene meleate by bulk polycondensation.
3) Synthesis of polystyrene by suspension radical polymerization.
4) Synthesis of p-chloromethylstyrene by emulsion radical polymerization.
5) Synthesis of polyethyl methacrylate by anionic polymerization.
6) Determination of the molecular weights of the synthesized polymers.
7) IR and 1H NMR analysis of all synthesized polymers.
Suggested prerequisites: basic knowledge of organic chemistry and physical chemistry.
· J. M. G. Cowie and V. Arrighi: Polymers: introduction of chemistry and physics of modern materials. CRC Press.
· Instructor notes.
1. Written test with open questions. Students will be required to answer general questions concerning all subjects treated in the course. The evaluation will be proportional to the number of correct answers.
Language of instruction
Attendance is not obligatory but preferred.
Mode of teaching:
1. Class lessons (32 hrs)
2. Laboratory experiments (32 hrs)