Course Syllabus for English-Taught Majors

Polymer ChemistryCourse Syllabus


Course Code09042018

Course Category Major Core 

MajorsIntensive Training Class

Semester Fall

Total Hours54           Credit3

Lecture Hours54           Lab Hours0         Practice Hours0

InstructorsLi-Juan Fan Mingyu Guo

TextbooksGeorge Odian,《Principle of Polymerizaitons》,Wiley-Interscience, 2004


1.       Ravve A., “Principles of Polymer Chemistry”, 3rd edition: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.

2.       Paul J. Flory, Principles of Polymer Chemistry,  Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York, 1953.

3.  潘祖仁编:《高分子化学》(第五版), 化学工业出版社, 2011

4.  王槐三,寇晓康编著,《高分子化学教程》,科学出版社,2002

5.  王国建编著,《高分子合成新技术》,化学工业出版社,2004


Teaching Aim

 As the foundation of High Polymer Science, this course contains the design of polymeric structures, the principle of polymerization and the reaction of polymers. It is open as a compulsory course to students majoring in Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry and Polymeric Materials and the similar fields, with organic chemistry and physical chemistry as the prerequisite courses. The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the basic concepts and principles of high polymer and its compounds, the control of the reaction and molecular weight of polymers, as well as the selection of methods for polymerization. Included in the course are such concrete contents as the basic theories, polymerization procedures, free-radical polymerization, free-radical copolymerization, ionic polymerization, coordination polymerization, polymerization techniques, ring-opening polymerization and reaction of polymers.


Prerequisite courses: Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry





Lecture Hours1 week 3  hours


1-1 Types of Polymers and Polymerizations

1-1a Polymer Composition and Structure 

1-1b Polymerization Mechanism

1-2 Nomenclature of Polymers 

1-3 Linear, Branched, and Crosslinked Polymers

1-4 Molecular Weight 



1.   What is the structure of the repeating unit in the common polymers?

2.   Can any other monomer(s) be used to obtain the same polymer structure?

3. Classify the polymers as to whether they are condensation or addition polymers.

4. Classify the polymerizations as to whether they are step, chain, or ring-opening polymerizations.




Lecture Hours5 weeks 15 hours


2-1 Reactivity of Functional Groups

2-2 Kinetics of Step Polymerization 

2-3 Accessibility of Functional Groups

2-4 Equilibrium Considerations

2-5 Cyclization versus Linear Polymerization 

2-6 Molecular Weight Control in Linear Polymerization 

2-7 Molecular Weight Distribution in Linear Polymerization 

2-8 Process Conditions 

2-9 Multichain Polymerization

2-10 Crosslinking 

2-11 Molecular Weight Distributions in Nonlinear Polymerizations 

2-12 Crosslinking Technology

2-13 Step Copolymerization

2-14 High-Performance Polymers



1. Derive an expression for the rate of polymerization of stoichiometric amounts of adipic acid and hexamethylene diamine. Indicate the assumptions inherent in the derivation.

2. Derive an expression for the rate of polymerization of nonstoichiometric amounts of the two reactants.

3. How can one experimentally obtain the correct value of molecular weight of a condensation polymer?

4. What factors determine whether cyclization or linear polymerization is the predominant reaction?

5. How can we increase the degree of polymerization in polycondesation.

6. Name a few common polymer materials synthesized through step polymerzations.



 Lecture Hours4 weeks 12 hours


3-1 Nature of Radical Chain Polymerization

3-2 Structural Arrangement of Monomer Units

3-3 Rate of Radical Chain Polymerization 

3-4 Initiation

3-5 Molecular Weight 

3-6 Chain Transfer 

3-7 Inhibition and Retardation 

3-8 Determination of Absolute Rate Constants 

3-9 Energetic Characteristics

3-10 Autoacceleration

3-11 Molecular Weight Distribution

3-12 Effect of Pressure

3-13 Process Conditions 

3-13a Bulk (Mass) Polymerization 

3-13b Solution Polymerization 

3-14c Suspension Polymeizaiton

3-15 Living Radical Polymerization



1. When one considers the various polymers produced from carbon–carbon double bond monomers, the following generalizations are apparent:

a. The polymers are produced almost exclusively from ethylene, monomers that have one substituent on the double bond, or monomers that have two substituents on the same carbon atom of the double bond. Monomers containing one substituent on each carbon of the double bond seldom polymerize.

b. Most of the chain polymerizations are carried out by radical initiation; relatively few are produced by ionic initiation. Why? Are there good reasons for these generalizations or are they simply a matter of chance?

2 . Show by chemical equations the polymerization of acrylonitrile initiated by the thermal decomposition of cumyl hydroperoxide.

3. Aside from increasing the monomer concentration, what means are available for increasing the polymerization rate? Compare the alternate possibilities with respect to any changes that are expected in the molecular weight of the product.

4. What is the breadth of the size distribution to be expected for a low conversion polymerization where termination is entirely by coupling. Discuss the manner in which each of the following situations alters the size distribution:

a. Chain transfer to n-butyl mercaptan

b. High conversion

c. Chain transfer to polymer

d. Autoacceleration

For those situations where there is a tendency toward a broadening of the size distribution, discuss the possible process conditions that may be used to decrease this tendency.




Lecture Hours1 week 3 hours


4-1 Description of Process 

4-2 Quantitative Aspects 

4-3 Other Characteristics of Emulsion Polymerization



1 . Describe the components of an emulsion polymerization system on a macroscopic level. Compare the pros and cons of emulsion polymerization as a process condition in comparison to bulk and solution polymerization.

2. Describe the microscopic picture of emulsion polymerization according to Harkins, Smith, and Ewart. Where are the monomer, initiator, and emulsifier located? Describe the changes that take place as the reaction proceeds to 100% conversion.




Lecture Hours2 week 6 hours

5-1 Comparison of Radical and Ionic Polymerizations 

5-2 Cationic Polymerization of the Carbon–Carbon Double Bond 

5-3 Anionic Polymerization of the Carbon–Carbon Double Bond 

5-4 Block and Other Polymer Architectures 

5-5 Distinguishing Between Radical, Cationic, and AnionicPolymerizations 

5-6 Carbonyl Polymerization


1.   The rates of most reactions increase with increasing temperature. For certain polymerizations, the rate decreases with temperature. Under what different conditions can this type of behavior occur? Explain. Consider step polymerizations as well as radical and ionic chain polymerization in answering this question.

2. What experimental approaches are available for determining whether the polymerization of a particular monomer by ionizing radiation proceeds by a radical or ionic mechanism?

3. Write down the typical examples for ionic polymerizations and cationic polymerizaions.




Lecture Hours2 weeks 6 hours


6-1 General Considerations

6-2 Copolymer Composition

6-3 Radical Copolymerization

6-4 Ionic Copolymerization

6-5 Deviations from Terminal Copolymerization Model

6-6 Copolymerizations Involving Dienes

6-7 Other Copolymerizations 

6-8 Applications of Copolymerization 



1 . Discuss the differences in the structures of random, alternating, graft, and block copolymers.

2. What is the difference between the ideal and alternating behaviors in copolymerization




Lecture Hours1  week 3 hours


7-1 General Characteristics

7-2 Cyclic Ethers 

7-3 Lactams

7-3a Cationic Polymerization 

7-4 N-Carboxy-a-Amino Acid Anhydrides

7-5 Lactones

7-6 Nitrogen Heterocyclics

7-7 Sulfur Heterocyclics 

7-8 Cycloalkenes



1. Write down the typical examples for  ring-opening polymerizaions.

2. Discuss the effect of ring size on the tendency of a cyclic monomer toward ringopening polymerization




Lecture Hours1  week 3  hours

8-1 Types of Stereoisomerism in Polymers 

8-2 Properties of Stereoregular Polymers 

8-3 Forces of Stereoregulation in Alkene Polymerizations 

8-4 Traditional Ziegler–Natta Polymerization of Nonpolar Alkene Monomers 



1.       Name a few polymers with different types of stereoisomerism and their properties

2.  Please write down the reaction schemes for synthesis of polypropylene.



Lecture Hours1 week 3 hours

9-1 Principles of Polymer Reactivity 

9-2 Crosslinking

9-3 Reactions of Cellulose

9-4 Reactions of Poly(vinyl acetate) 

9-5 Halogenation 

9-6 Aromatic Substitution 

9-7 Cyclization

9-8 Other Reactions 

9-9 Graft Copolymers 

9-10 Block Copolymers

9-11 Polymers as Carriers or Supports

9-12 Polymer Reagents

9-13 Polymer Catalysts 

9-14 Polymer Substrates



1.Please explain each principles of polymer reactivity.

2.Pease give at least one example for each type of reactions of polymers.


Assessment Methods

1. Homework ( excise, ppt)

2. In-class quiz

3. In-class presentation

4. Miterm exam

5. Final exam


        Made by Li-Juan Fan 




 Date: October 21, 2016