Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Polymer Chemistry

Overall Course Objectives

The superior goals of the course is to make the students familiar with preparation methods for synthetic polymers including mechanisms, kinetics, modification of polymers by chemical reactions, and polymer degradation. Furthermore, the students should be able to evaluate properties of the synthesized polymers.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the most important processes in a radical polymerization (initiation, propagation, chain transfer, and termination)
  • Perform kinetic calculations for radical polymerization both homo- and copolymerization
  • Give an account of the differences between conventional radical polymerization and the controlled radical polymerization techniques, ATRP, NMP and RAFT polymerization
  • Interpret amorphous and semi-crystalline polymers’ thermal transitions, glass transition and crystalline melting point, and relate these to the polymers’ structure and properties
  • Distinguish between and be able to calculate different molecular weight distributions and their influence on polymerization kinetics, mechanism and properties of the polymers
  • Identify necessary monomers and suitable, imperative polymerization techniques to produce selected polymers and to account for bio-based polymers
  • Describe and discuss condensation and ring-opening polymerizations of polyesters, polamides, polurethanes, silicones and polyethers.
  • Estimate the assumptions and possibilities for application of anionic, cationic, Ziegler-Natta, metallocene, and metathesis polymerization
  • Discuss and evaluate approaches to crosslinking systems and discuss how such resins are used to prepare network polymers including their various applications.
  • Predict the possibilities for preparation of new functional polymers by reactions onto existing polymers including application of CuAAC and thiol-ene chemistry.
  • Account for bio-based materials and discuss/perspectivate on the impact of introduction of these new types of materials, their application and potential recycling both from a resource as well as a sustainability point of view.

Course Content

Polymer reactions including step-reactions, free radical (incl. controlled) and ion initiated chain reactions, are thoroughly deduced. Special emphasis will be given to the understanding of reaction parameters important in the control of rate of polymerization, molecular weight distributions, and the structural composition like branching, cross-links and stereo-chemical aspects. The reaction mechanisms associated with the different polymerization reactions will be treated in detail.
In addition to this, also new types of bio-based materials be discussed in terms of raw materials and substitution implications will be discussed (recycling potential and sustainability).

Recommended prerequisites

Teaching Method

Lectures, problem solving, group work and visit to a company.


See course in the course database.





13 weeks


Chemical Engineering


DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 28212
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19
Days Tues 8-12

7.500,00 DKK