CHEM 773/7730 - Advanced Polymerization Techniques

Semester: Winter 2023

Professor: X. Wang | Discipline: Polymer | Campus: Waterloo


Synthesis of polymers with well-defined structures in terms of their architectures, chemical compositions, molecular weight etc. is a major concern of polymer chemistry. A number of polymerization techniques, such as anionic polymerization, living free radical polymerization, ring opening metathesis polymerization, have been developed and intensively researched in recent years. Consequently, polymer structure and property engineering has become possible, which extend the scope of material applications of polymers to many modern technologies, such as nanotechnology. Well-defined polymers have been used as building blocks for the creation of various supramolecular nanoobjects with a good control of morphology, size and functionality; Attaching polymers to functional inorganic nanoparticles via controlled polymerization improved processibility of inorganic nanoparticles for device fabrications; Multistep living polymerization coupling with organic and inorganic reactions also results in novel nanoobjects that cannot be achieved before. This course will discuss living polymerization techniques in details and their material applications will be briefly introduced. The course is designed for final year undergraduate and graduate students with organic and inorganic chemistry background. The course will be delivered by PowerPoint presentations and the slides will be available on Waterloo LEARN.

Course learning objectives

Examine the concept and mechanism of living polymerization.
Examine the advanced living polymerization techniques used for polymer synthesis.
Explain and compare the difference and similarity of different living polymerization techniques
Appreciate material applications of living polymerization and future development.


Lecture handouts

Journal papers and review articles

Controlled and Living Polymerizations: From Mechanisms to Applications Edited by Krzysztof Matyjaszewski and Axel H. E. Müller


For undergraduate students: midterm exam (50%) and final exam (50%)

For graduate students: midterm exam (40%), final exam (40%) and term project (20%)


Course topics

Introduction to living polymerization.
Anionic polymerization
Living free radical polymerization
Ring opening metathesis polymerization
Chain growth condensation polymerization
Supramolecular polymerization.


  • Tue: 8:30 am - 10:20 am in EIT 2053
  • Thu: 8:30 am - 10:20 am in EIT 2053

Office Hours

Office: QNC 3619 Office hours: Friday 3:00-4:00 pm, or by appointment [email protected] Emails will be replied to within 24 hours during the weekdays.