Chemistry of polymers

NAME OF THE COURSE Chemistry of polymers



Year of study


Course teacher

Prof Matko Erceg

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

- knowledge about the most important properties of different types of polymers
- understanding the relation between structure and specific properties of the polymers
- basic knowledge of the methods of preparation of synthetic polymers
- introduction to the basic methods of polymer characterization

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course

Enrolled in or passed the course Exercises in polymer chemistry

Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

After passing the exam, the student is expected to be able to:
- distinguish and explain basic types of polymers and their properties
- explain the specific structure of the polymer
- argue correlation between structure and properties of polymers
- distinguish and explain the polymerization reactions
- identify and characterize polymeric materials using modern instrumental techniques

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

1st week: : Introduction. The nomenclature of the polymer. The classification of polymers (thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers).
2nd week: Types of bonds in polymers. Configuration of the polymers. Conformation of the polymers.
3rd week: Super-molecular structure of the polymer. Polymer liquid crystals.
4th week: The rheological properties of the polymer.
5th week: Polymer solutions: swelling, solubility, method of calculating the solubility parameters, Hansen’s theory.
6th week: Molecular weight of the polymer. Viscosimetric determination of molecular weights.
7th week: Fractionation of the polymer. Methods of fractionation. Gel permeation chromatography.
8th week: Step-growth polymerization: properties, rate of step-growth polymerization, polymers synthesized by step-growth polymerization.
9th week: Chain growth poli. Radical polymerization: properties, rate of radical polymerization, polymers synthesized by radical polymerization.
10th week: Cationic and anionic polymerization: properties, rate of cationic and anionic polymerization, polymers synthesized by cationic and polymerization polymers
11th week: Coordination polymerization: properties, the rate of coordination polymerization, polymers synthesized by coordination polymerization.
12th week: Methods of polymerization. Natural polymers. Cellulose, cellulose fibers, cellulose modification. Starch.
13th week: Protein, protein fibers. Structure and properties of natural rubber. Synthetic rubbers. Biosynthetic polymers.
14th week: Infrared Spectroscopy.
15th week: Thermal methods - differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetry (TG). Glass transition temperature, melting temperature, thermal stability of polymers.

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Attending lectures in the 80% amount of the total number of lessons.

Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work








Seminar essay






Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

Continuous evaluation:
The entire exam can be passed over two colloquium during the semester. Pass threshold for each colloquium is 50%. Each colloquium participates with 45% in a final grade while attending lectures in 80-100% amount is 10% of a final grade.
Final evaluation:
One passed colloquium (previous activity) is recognized as 10% of a final grade. The remaining part is taken on written and oral exam at prescribed examination terms. Written exam accounts for 40% and oral exam for 50%, respectively. Students who did not take or pass colloquiums take written and oral exam at prescribed examination terms. Passing threshold is 50%. Written exam accounts for 50% and oral exam for 50% of a final grade, respectively.
Grades definitions and percentages: sufficient (50-61%), good (62-74%), very good (75-87%), excellent (88-100%).

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

Y. Gnanou, M. Fontanille, Organic and Physical Chemistry of Polymers, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2008.


T. Kovačić, Struktura i svojstva polimera, Kemijsko-tehnološki fakultet, Split, 2010.


Web knjižnica KTF-a

B. Andričić, Prirodni polimerni materijali, Kemijsko-tehnološki fakultet, Split, 2009.


Web knjižnica KTF-a

Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

Z. Janović, Polimerizacije i polimeri, HDKI-Kemija u industriji, Zagreb, 1997.; B. Stuart, Infrared Spectroscopy - Fundamentals and Applications, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, 2004.; J. D. Menzel, R. B. Prime, Thermal Analysis of Polymers - Fundamentals and Applications, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2009.

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

Quality assurance will be performed at three levels: (1) University Level, (2) Faculty Level by Quality Control Committee, (3) Lecturer’s Level.

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)