All About Chemistry... 2011 and beyond

Polymer Science Laboratory

Course Home
Course Resources
  • Course Description

    Experiments in this class are broadly aimed at acquainting students with the range of properties of polymers, methods of synthesis, and physical chemistry. Some examples of laboratory work include solution polymerization of acrylamide, bead polymerization of divinylbenzene, and interfacial polymerization of nylon 6,10. Evaluation of networks by tensile and swelling experiments, rheology of polymer solutions and suspensions, and physical properties of natural and silicone rubber are also covered.

    About Mr. Harlan Breindel

    Note: Contents for this page are Licensed from under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Course Code

    Date Taught
    Fall 2005

    Undergraduate (First Year)
  • SES #     Topics

    1             H: Free Radical Polymerization

                   Kinetics, Kinetic Chain Length, Tromsdorff Effect in Free Radical Polymers

    2             CI-1: The Nature of Scientific Writing and Scientific Report Format (IMRaD) (Given by Dr.  

                   Les Perelman, WAC)

    3             H: Molecular Weight Determination

                   Polymers as Random Coils in Dilute Solution

                  Intrinsic Viscosity, Rheology of Concentrated Solutions

    4             H: Step Growth Polymerization

                  Near Equilibrium Polymerizations, Far from Equilibrium Step Growth Polymerizations

    5             B: CI-2: Results and Discussion / Literature Reviews

    6             H: Polymer Networks and Network Chemistry, Swelling, Linear vs. Crosslinked

                  Solubility and the Hildebrand Solubility Parameter

    7             B: CI-3: Using Graphics and Tables Effectively

    8             H: Mechanical Behavior of Polymers, Rubber Elasticity, Glass Transition

    9             B: CI-4: Defining Terms

    10           H: Plasticization Effects, Lowering of Tg, Thermoplastic Elastomers, "Physical" vs. Covalent


    11           B: CI- Recitation

                    Exam I

    12           B: CI-5: Strategies for Revision

    13           H: Polymer Morphology

    14           B: CI- Recitation

    15           H: Polymer Reaction Processing: Suspension and Emulsion

                  Polymerization and Kinetics

    16           B: CI-6: Designing Oral Presentations

    17           H: Formation of Microporous Structures in Polymer Films

                  Phase Inversion Membrane Formation, Structures from Macrophase Separation

    18           B: CI- Recitation

    19           H: Polymer Thin Films and Surfaces

                  Surface Modification

                  Adsorption Processes

                  Solution Processing and Fiber Spinning

    20           B: CI- Recitation

    21-22     H: Oral Presentations

    23           H: Review Session

                    Exam II

    Course Meeting Times

    Lectures: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session

    Labs: 2 sessions / week
    Lab 1: 3-4 hours / session
    Lab 2: 3-4 hours / session


    It is required that you attend all lectures. Exams will cover lecture and lab material.

    This is a relatively fast-paced lab course. For this reason, Lab Attendance is required of all students in each group. Attendance will be taken, and lab attendance will be counted as part of the lab grade. If there is a reason you cannot make it to lab, you must contact

    1. your lab TA and
    2. at least one member of your lab group prior to the lab period.


    Suggested Readings will be given in the Lab Handouts in lecture or the lab.

    Other material may be given to you in the form of handouts from books during the course.


    Lab Reports / Write-ups 50%
    CI-M Assignments 20%
    Exams, Classroom 30%
  • DescriptionTypeLink
    Polymerization of Acrylamide in WaterDownloadClick
    Characterization of PolyacrylamideDownloadClick
    Conversion of Polyacrylamide to Sodium Polyacrylate and Subsequentd Conversion of Polyacrylate Salt to Poly (Acrylic Acid)DownloadClick
    Synthesis of Hydrogels from Acrylamide and N-isopropyl Acrylamide with Bisacrylamide in WaterDownloadClick
    Properties of Hydrogels from Lab #4: Swelling, Tensile and Solute Transport PropertiesDownloadClick
    Interfacial Polymerization of Nylon 10 from Diamine and Diacid ChlorideDownloadClick
    Un-Crosslinked and Crosslinked Natural Rubber from Rubber Tree Latex Mechanical PropertiesDownloadClick
    Polymerization of Methyl Methacrylate Monomer to Form Poly (Methyl Methacrylate), Tromsdorff Effect Illustration with Bone CementDownloadClick
    Poly (Vinyl Chloride): Preparation of Plasticized PVC and Tensile Modulus as Function of Plasticizer Content and Test TemperatureDownloadClick
    Network Formation with Epoxies, RTV Thermosets and Foamable PolyurethanesDownloadClick
    Bead Polymerization of Divinyl Benzene and Methyl MethacrylateDownloadClick
    Ultrafiltration Membrane Formation by Phase Inversion and Permeability StudiesDownloadClick
    Photopolymerization: Photolithography and Soft LithographyDownloadClick
  • DescriptionTypeLink
    Course Materials DownloadDownloadClick
Social Networking

Please recommend us on Facebook, Twitter and more:

Other social media tools

Global Partners

Tell us what you think of Chemistry 2011 -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?

About us

Chemistry2011 is an informational resource for students, educators and the self-taught in the field of chemistry. We offer resources such as course materials, chemistry department listings, activities, events, projects and more along with current news releases.

Events & Activities

Are you interested in listing an event or sharing an activity or idea? Perhaps you are coordinating an event and are in need of additional resources? Within our site you will find a variety of activities and projects your peers have previously submitted or which have been freely shared through creative commons licenses. Here are some highlights: Featured Idea 1, Featured Idea 2.

About you

Ready to get involved? The first step is to sign up by following the link: Join Here. Also don’t forget to fill out your profile including any professional designations.

Global Partners