PC Painter and MM Coleman
Essentials of Polymer Science
(DEStech Publications)

Chapter 1 (pgs 1-4 only) and Chapter 2

Concepts that you must know:
  1. Definitions: polymer, monomer, homopolymer, copolymer, blends
  2. Molecule (monomer) Types: monofunctional, di-/tri-/tetra- functional etc,
    how can they react, can they form polymers
  3. Polymer Types: linear, graft, star, network
  4. *Isomerism: sequence isomers (types), stereoisomers, structural isomers
    (make sure you can explain in layman's terms the following: trans, cis, syndiotactic, isotactic, atactic)
  5. *Molecular Weight: definitions and usage of Mw, Mn, polydispersity
  1. *Go through the chemistry of dienes (pg. 35-39)
  2. *Go through the examples of Mw, Mn calculations (pg. 41-44)
  3. *Do "study question" 5 (pg. 45); (you can use excel, or the interactive module below)
Interactive Module:
You need the Flash Player (v.6 or later) plugin (which can be obtained free from here)
The files are extremely small (typically half a minute with a modem) and can be run directly from this web-page.

  1. Go through cases 1,2, and 3.
    • Comment on how the relative value of Mw and Mn depend on the shape of the molecular weight distribution.
    • Comment on how the polydispersity depends on the shape of the molecular weight distribution.
  2. How do the relative values of Mw and Mn, and the polydispersity depend on the "monomer weight" ?