Polymers are at the heart of modern-day science and technology innovations. For over a century, polymeric materials have been key contributors to global socioeconomic development. Polymers are having revolutionizing impacts on a wide range of industries related to healthcare, renewable energy, electronics, textiles, packaging, aerospace, automotive, and construction. The total global production of polymers was reported to be 322 million metric tons in the year 2019. Considering the importance of polymers, CHEM 318 is designed to be a comprehensive guide to the essential aspects of polymer science and technology. The contents of this course include: introduction to monomers, polymers, copolymers, and polymer architecture (i.e., structure conformation of molecular chain etc). General methods of polymerization techniques, natural polymers, rubber, cellulose, wool etc. Methods of controlling molecular architecture of polymers, synthesis of random and block copolymers, control of polymer reactivity and properties, structure-property relationships, techniques for polymer characterization and polymer processing. From application point of view, this course will highlight application of polymers as structural as well as functional elements in a wide range of endeavors addressing health, energy, and environment related challenges. The course will also include understanding of molecular assembly of polymers at which is critical to their targeted application. Polymers are building blocks of life and have always been at the forefront of technological advancements. Understanding polymers is, therefore, essential to the training of science and engineering students.


  1. Learn about natural and synthetic polymers.
  2. Learn about polymerization techniques (Linear chain growth polymerization and linear step growth polymerization
  3. Learn to synthesize polymers with controlled molecular architectures. Linear block/random copolymers, graft polymers, and star polymers.
  4. Gain understanding of polymer structure and physiochemical properties.
  5. Understand the relationship between polymer properties and chemical composition, molecular weight, and molecular structure.
  6. Learn about elastomers, plastics, cellulose, and fibers.
  7. Gain practical experience on polymer characterization techniques.
  8. Learn about applications of polymers in various field