Long chain molecules are important in biological systems (proteins, carbohydrates) as well as industrial technologies (plastics). The longer the molecule, the more difficult the modeling, but polymer scientists have done a remarkable job with this, despite the complexities.

A course in polymer chemistry will most likely cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to polymers
  • Polymer structure (morphology)
  • Molecular weight of polymers
  • Naturally occurring polymers
  • Step-reaction polymerization (polycondensation reactions)
  • Ionic chain-reaction and complex coordination polymerizations (addition polymerizations)
  • Free radical chain polymerizations (addition polymerizations)
  • Copolymerization
  • Organometallic and metalloid polymers
  • Inorganic polymers
  • Reactions of polymers
  • Spectrometric characterization and testing of polymers
  • Rheology and physical tests
  • Additives
  • Synthesis of reactants and intermediates for polymers
  • Polymer technology


The Journal of Polymer Chemistry is a good place for students to keep up with this area of science. Amazon.com has a good collection of books on polymer chemistry. Google.com also has a large number of books on polymer chemistry. An interesting polymer website to check out is The Macrogalleria, where they claim to have information on levels ranging from beginner to advanced researcher.

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