10.569 Synthesis of Polymers

Fall 2006

Tennis racquets, a use for Kevlar(r), a polyaramid.

Tennis racquets, a use for Kevlar®, a polyaramid. Kevlar® is made from monomers 1,4-phenylene-diamine (para-phenylenediamine) and terephthaloyl chloride. Learn more in Lecture 7. (Image courtesy of Alejandro Colombo.)

Course Highlights

This course features an extensive list of readings and a design project description.

Course Description

Studies synthesis of polymeric materials, emphasizing interrelationships of chemical pathways, process conditions, and microarchitecture of molecules produced. Chemical pathways include traditional approaches such as anionic polymerization, radical condensation, and ring-opening polymerizations. Other techniques are discussed, including stable free radical polymerizations and atom transfer free radical polymerizations (ARTP), catalytic approaches to well-defined architectures, and polymer functionalization in bulk and at surfaces. Process conditions include bulk, solution, emulsion, suspension, gas phase, and batch vs. continuous fluidized bed. Microarchitecture includes tacticity, molecular-weight distribution, sequence distributions in copolymers, errors in chains such as branches, head-to-head addition, and peroxide incorporation.


The instructor would like to thank Karen Shu and Karen Daniel for their work in preparing material for this course site.

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Prof. Paula Hammond

Course Meeting Times

Three sessions / week
1 hour / session