CH3160 Polymeric Materials

This course is aimed at giving an introductory view to polymers as a class of materials used in various applications. To this end, this course will provide a basic understanding of the synthesis of polymers and their formation kinetics, their structure and morphology in relation with their properties, their behavior in solution, their response to external stimuli, and principles of some experimental methods to evaluate their properties.

Key Topics

  • Classification – based on synthesis technique, molecular structure, application and processing; homo- vs copolymers
  • Polymerization Kinetics – Kinetics of addition (free radical, cationic, anionic), step growth and addition co-polymerization
  • Structure and Morphology – Polymer chain – molecular weight distribution, chain statistics, random walk, conformation vs configuration, chain dynamics
  • Polymer Solution Thermodynamics – regular solution theory, Flory-Huggins solution theory
  • Thermal behavior – glass transition, melting, crystallization
  • Mechanical properties – typical stress-strain responses, elasticity theories, time-temperature superposition, viscoelasticity
  • Polymer characterization – viscometry, GPC, TGA, DSC, DMA, DTA, light scattering
  • Polymer degradation – thermal, ultrasonic, photolytic, catalytic, mechanisms, modeling


  1. Fred W. Billmeyer, Textbook of Polymer Science, 3rd edition, John Wiley and Sons, Singapore, 2010.
  2. R. Gowariker, N.V. Viswanathan, J. Sreedhar, Polymer Science, 2nd edition, New age International Publishers, New Delhi, 2015.
  3. George Odian, Principles of Polymerization, 4th edition, John Wiley and Sons, New Delhi, 2010.
  4. Brandrup, E. H. Immergut, E. A. Grulke (editors) Polymer Handbook, 4th edition.
  5. Malcolm P. Stevens, Polymer Chemistry: An Introduction, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, Indian edition, 2008.
  6. Many other references from the internet.
  7. Class presentations and other useful handouts will be shared from time to time.