CHEM 773/7730-01 - Polymerizations Beyond Radical and Condensation Polymerization

Semester: Winter 2022

Professor: J. Duhamel | Discipline: Polymer | Campus: Waterloo


1.   Refresher on basic concepts: Homopolymers vs. copolymers, molecular weight distributions and averages, polydispersity, free radical addition polymerization.

2.   Emulsion polymerization: Initiators, surfactants and other components. Polymerization rate and molecular weight control.

3.   Copolymerization equation, monomer reactivity ratios. Types of behaviors: random, alternating, blocky copolymers. Integrated copolymerization equation. Copolymer microstructure. Multicomponent polymerization. Structural effects, Q-e scheme, kinetics.

4.   Anionic polymerization: initiation, propagation, termination. “Living” polymerizations. Solvent and temperature effects, reactivity modifiers, stereochemistry control. Cationic polymerization: initiation, propagation, chain transfer, temperature effects.

5.   Coordination polymerization: Ziegler-Natta catalysts, supported catalysts, stereochemistry control.

6.   Polymer mixtures. Solution thermodynamics, solubility parameter and variations, Flory-Huggins theory. Applications of solution thermodynamics: plasticization, fractionation, polymer mixtures (blends).

7.   Polymer self-associations: Close/open association mechanism, supramolecular polymerization.


Principles of Polymerization (3rd Edition) by G. Odian (Wiley: NY, 1991; QD281.P603 1991), Polymers: Chemistry and Physics of Modern Materials (2nd Edition) by J. M. G. Cowie (Blackie Academic: Glasgow, 1991; QD381.C68x 1991), Elements of Polymer Science and Engineering by A. Rudin (Academic Press: San Diego, 1999; QD381.R8 1999).


Quizzes (20%), one in class mid-term exam (20% or 0%) on Tuesday March 1st, 2022 at 10:00 am, a 21/2-hour final exam (40% or 60%), and a 20-30 page-long report on a topic covering different aspects of the course (20%).




  • Tue: 10:00 am - 11:20 am in EIT 2053/MacN 101
  • Thu: 10:00 am - 11:20 am in EIT 2053/MacN 101

Office Hours

Room: C2-163; Tel: 35916; E-mail: [email protected] Office hours: Tuesdays 1:15 – 2:00