Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


There is no required textbook for this course. A suggested reference is:

Buy at Amazon Young, R. J., and P. A. Lovell. Introduction to Polymers. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780748757404.


Students must complete and hand in five problem sets during the term.

Students are also required to write a substantial essay on an area concerning the structure, processing, and physical properties of polymers. A two page detailed outline is due on Lec #13 and the paper is due seven days after Lec #23.


There will be two in-class exams.


Five problem sets 20%
Two exams 50%
Essay - outline 5%
Essay - final 15%
Attendance and participation 10%


1 Introduction; hard vs. soft solids; polymerization
2 Chains; thermodynamics of polymer solutions
3 Thermodynamics (cont.): Mean field; Flory Huggins and lattice theory; entropy and enthalpy of mixing; phase diagrams
4 Polymer blends; viscosity; osmometry Problem set 1 due
5 Osmometry (cont.); SEC (size exclusion chromatography) and GPC (gel permeation chromatography)
6 Scattering; Zimm plots
7 Glass transition temperature Tg
8 Diffusion of polymers; reptation; elasticity Problem set 2 due
9 Gels; Flory-Rehner theory
10 Self organization
Exam I
11 Intermaterial dividing surface (IMDS); polymer-based photonics
12 Photonic crystals
13 Influence of chain architecture on microdomain characteristics
14 Block copolymer-homopolymer blends
15 Hierarchically ordered BCP-nanoparticle composites
16 Top down meets bottom up Problem set 3 due
17 Chain folding; polyethylene and nylon; spherulites
18 Mechanical properties; crazing; microframes and millitrusses
Exam II Problem set 4 due
19 Mechanical properties (cont.)
20 Single wall and multi-wall nanotubes (SWNT, MWNT)
21 Electronic polymers
22 Polymer conductives; polypyrrole chains; optical interactions Problem set 5 due
23 Wrap-up and review Project report due