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Polymer Science and Engineering Courses

Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses


All courses carry 3 credits unless otherwise specified.

501 Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering
Physical and organic chemistry of polymers for persons with a basic training in chemistry, physics, or engineering. A survey of preparative methods of polymers; physical chemistry of polymer molecules in solution, liquid, and solid phases; thermodynamics and statistics of polymers; methods of characterization; mechanical properties, fabrication techniques. Prerequisites: one semester of physical chemistry and one semester of organic chemistry. For non-PS&E students. Coughlin, Santore

602 Polymer Characterization Laboratory
Characterization of polymers by up to fifteen methods, including spectroscopic (nuclear magnetic resonance, Raman, infrared), mechanical (tensile, dynamic mechanical, rheological), microscopic (electron microscopy), physiochemical (intrinsic viscosity, differential scanning, calorimetry, gel permeation chromatography) and scattering (light, x-rays). Molecular simulation techniques introduced. Lectures provide state-of-the-art description of these and additional polymer characterization methods. Hayward, Watkins

603 Polymer Synthesis Laboratory
Preparation and characterization of the most important types of polymer types. Radical, cationic, anionic polymerization, copolymerization, Ziegler-Natta polymerization, step growth polymerization; suspension and emulsion polymerization; group transfer polymerization; metathesis polymerization. Tew, McCarthy

604 Introduction to Polymer Engineering
Physical and mathematical principles required to understand and solve engineering problems encountered with polymeric materials. Vectors and tensor operations, stress-strain analysis in solids, fluid mechanics, transport equations for mass and energy, nonlinear physical properties, overview of polymer processing. Crosby, Bermundez

607 Introduction to Synthetic Polymer Chemistry
Polymer structure, classification of polymerization reactions, theory and practice of step growth polymerization, radical polymerization, ionic polymerization, ring-opening polymerization, polymerization by transition metal catalysts. Carter, Emrick

608 Physical Chemistry of Polymers I
Review of classical and statistical thermodynamics, configuration and conformation of isolated polymer chains, the rotational isomeric state model, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of polymer solutions, scaling theory, single chain dynamics, scattering (light, x-ray, neutron). Muthukumar, Gido, Grason

696 Introduction to Research
Independent student research on a specific project in polymer science or engineering, selected to teach research methods and techniques and to acquire new knowledge. Credit, 1-3. Hsu

699 Master’s Thesis
Credit, 6-10.

720 Viscoelasticity

Molecular foundations of polymer viscoelasticity, Rouse-Bueche theory, Boltzmann superposition principle, mechanical models, distribution of relaxation and retardation times, interrelationships between mechanical spectra, the glass transition, secondary relaxations, dielectric relaxation. Hoagland

721 Polymer Morphology
Methods of structural characterization for important morphological classes of polymers. Overview of scattering physics leading to a discussion of specific techniques such as small and wide angle x-ray and transmission electron microscopy. Polymeric materials surveyed include mesophases, liquid crystalline polymers, polymer blends, block copolymers, crystalline polymers forming lamellae or spherulites. Gido

731 Polymer Properties
Techniques for predicting the engineering and physical properties of polymers from their molecular structures. Empirical, semi-empirical, and theoretical methods, with emphasis on the group additivity approach. Properties discussed include refractive index, density, glass transition temperature, modulus, and compatibility. Lesser, Hsu

733 Micromechanics
Effects of microstructure on the mechanics of polymeric media: deformation modes, yield, rubber toughening, alloys and blends, fatigue and fracture of highly filled systems. Lesser

735 Interaction of Radiation with Matter
Maxwell’s equations, wave propagation and dispersion, index of refraction and polarizability, absorption and the “Golden Rule,” introduction to nonlinear optics, scattering. Russell

736 Polymer Surfaces and Adsorption
Discussion of theoretical and experimental methods providing insight into polymer interfacial phenomena. Theoretical: surface dynamics, Gibbs isotherm, gradient-square theory of interfaces, wetting. Experimental: IR, optical, neutron, and x-ray reflectivity, contact angle, surface tensiometry, scanning probe microscopy (atomic force, scanning tunnel), electron probes (ESCA, EELS). McCarthy

737 Polymer Reaction Engineering
Engineering principles applied to the analysis and design of polymerization processes. Mathematical modeling of polymerization kinetics, ideal polymerization reactors, heat and mass transfer, reactor dynamics and optimization, mixing effects. Case studies of important industrial processes. Coughlin

740 Vibrational Spectroscopy of Macromolecules
Infrared and Raman spectroscopy. Concepts and algorithms of normal mode analysis, symmetry analysis, Fermi resonance interactions, defect-induced vibrational transitions, polarization phenomena, surface characterization. Hsu

742 Biopolymers
Structure, function, and physical properties of naturally occurring polymers, including proteins, polysaccharides, polyesters, and DNA. Methods of characterization (nuclear magnetic resonance, electron spin resonance, circular dichroism, centrifugation, electrophoresis, chemical modification), polymer chemistry of biological processes (visual transduction, synaptic transmission, ion transport, chemical recognition). Bermundez

745 Colloidal Phenomena
Classical and modern developments in colloid science. Colloid preparation, Brownian motion, surface forces, particle-particle interactions (flocculation and stabilization), thermodynamics, electrokinetic effects, mechanical properties. Prerequisite: one semester of physical chemistry. Hoagland, Santore, Muthukumar

757 Polymer Rheology
Definition and measurement of the material functions of complex fluids, continuum mechanics of stress and deformation, constitutive equations derived from both continuum and molecular theories, interrelation of material functions for both shear and elongational flows, linear and nonlinear elasticity and viscoelasticity, material functions of important classes of polymeric fluids, the role of rheological properties in material characterization and polymer processing. Prerequisite: POLYMER 604 or an equivalent background in fluid mechanics. Hoagland, Crosby

758 Polymer Processing
Application of engineering principles to the analysis of polymer processes such as extrusion, roll coating, mixing, etc. Applied fluid dynamics with attention to heat and mass transfer. Prerequisite: POLYMER 604 and 757. Watkins

760 Organic Polymerization Reactions
Mechanisms, kinetics, and thermodynamics of the principal polymerization reactions. Recent special topics included liquid crystalline polmers, piezoelectric polymers, biopolymers, olefin metathesis polymerization. Prerequisite: POLYMER 607. Carter, Emrick, McCarthy, Tew

786 Research Proposal
Students write and defend a proposal for experimental investigation of a research problem not directly related to their thesis topic. Project selected requires approval of thesis committee, and involves primarily library research. Credit, 1. Hsu

789 Physical Chemistry of Polymers II
Rubber elasticity, glass transition phenomena, phase separation kinetics, crystallization thermodynamics and kinetics, physics of polymer crystals, description and determination of crystalline and amorphous orientation. Grason, Hayward, Muthukumar

797E Sptp-Polymer Solutions
Hoagland

797N Advanced NMR Spectroscopy
Modern pulsed FT NMR spectroscopy, including two-dimensional methods and CP-MAS spectroscopy. Hands-on operation of instruments. Hu

797NN Introduction to Scientific Teaching
For graduate students in all science and engineering disciplines interested in academic careers that involve undergraduate education. Concepts discussed also relevant for education at other levels, including in industrial settings. In-class discussions and activities designed to highlight current research on effective pedagogical strategies for teaching science. Students design and present short teaching modules, and begin to assemble a teaching portfolio targeted towards college and university job applications. Prior teaching experience not required. Credit, 1. Hayward

797PP Theory of Soft Molecular Assembly
An introduction to theoretical models of soft molecular assembly: thermodynamics and kinetics of aggregation, mean-field models of copolymer assembly, molecular models of liquid-crystals and surfactants, a phenomenological approach to liquid-crystalline phases and the effect of thermal fluctations in soft assemblies. Grason

797PT Polymer Theory
Random walks, fractals, scaling, perturbation and renormalization group theories, phase diagrams, spinodal decomposition, liquid crystallinity, gelation, and percolation. Tew

797Q 1D and 2D NMR of Polymers and Biomolecules
An in-depth introduction to modern nuclear clear magnetic resonance of polymers and biomolecules, both in solid state and in solution. Understanding of NMR pulse sequences developed, starting at quantum-mechanical foundations. Development progresses to two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy, for elucidating molecular and supramolecular structure, for studying molecular dynamics, and for characterizing orientational order. Hu

797R Advanced Polymer Technologies
Lecture series by visiting industrial scientists focused on the important materials and technologies of the polymer industry. Recent topics have included water-soluble polymers, polymers for nonlinear optics, polymers in photoimaging, engineering plastics, polymer composites, intellectual property rights, and fibers. Capistran

797X Advanced Polymer Engineering
An overview of advanced polymer engineering concepts including yield and fracture, viscoelasticity and rubber elasticity, and polymer rheology/fluids. Continuation of material in POLYMER 604. Crosby, Hoagland, Bermundez

891 Seminar
Invited lectures by visiting academic and industrial scientists. Held regularly on Friday afternoons throughout the academic year. PS&E students required to register and attend. Credit, 1. Bermundez

899 Doctoral Dissertation
Credit, 18.