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Syllabus for

Academic year
KBT026 - Polymer chemistry and physics
Polymerkemi och -fysik
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-19 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPMCN
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Chemical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 30116
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: A+
Minimum participants: 8
Maximum participants: 50

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0115 Laboratory 1,5c Grading: UG   1,5c    
0215 Examination 6,0c Grading: TH   6,0c   16 Jan 2021 pm J   07 Apr 2021 am J,  25 Aug 2021 am J

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Christian Müller

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Previous knowledge of organic and physical chemistry is expected.
Colloids and polymers (KTK106) or courses with equivalent polymer content is recommended.


The course shall give deep and basic knowledge and understanding of the chemistry and physics of polymers. This includes especially the following polymer subjects: synthesis, characterisation, structure-properties relationships, and the physics of solutions and solid state.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

1) describe the mechanism and characteristics of different polymerisation reactions
2) describe how different kinds of polymers can be synthesised on a laboratory as well as industrial scale
3) calculate the molecular weight of a polymer with regard to the composition of the feed of a polymerisation reaction
4) suggest analysis methods that permit to characterise the chemical and physical structure of polymers
5) explain the microstructure of polymers
6) describe physical properties of polymers in the melt and in the solid state
7) describe how materials properties are influenced by specific polymer structures
8) describe properties of semi-conducting polymers


In general the lectures follow the outline of the course literature. The lecture themes are as follows:
1) introduction and basic principles
2) polymer synthesis (step-growth, radical, ionic, coordination and co-polymerisation)
3) polymers in solution
4) molar mass determination
5) structure determination
6) the crystalline state
7) the amorphous state
8) liquid-crystalline polymers
9) mechanical and dielectric properties
10) the elastomeric state
11) structure-property relationships
12) conjugated polymers

The tutorials deal with important concepts presented in the lectures.

The laboratory assignments start with the synthesis of two different polymers which are analysed in the following sessions using SEC, DMA, DSC, IR and NMR. The lab course ends with a lab seminar where the results are discussed.


The course includes about 14 lectures, 7 tutorials, 4 labs, and 1 lab seminar.


J.M.G. Cowie: Polymers: Chemistry & Physics of Modern Materials (Third edition).

Examination including compulsory elements

The learning outcomes are assessed through a written exam, graded according to TH, as well as completed laboratory assignments and an approved laboratory seminar. The grades for the written exam and the laboratory assignments/seminar are registered separately (6 + 1.5 hp).

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.