331: Soft Materials

Different kinds of polymeric materials. Relationships between structure and physical properties; rubber elasticity, the glassy state, crystallinity in polymers. Lectures, laboratory. Prerequisites: 301 or equivalent; 314 or CHEM 342 1.
At the conclusion of the course students will be able to:
  1. Given the chemical structure of a common polymer, draw the chemical structures of the monomer(s) from which it was made.
  2. Given the chemical structure of a monomer (or monomers), draw the chemical structure polymers that can be synthesized from it (or them).
  3. Understand, describe and calculate the structural parameters of polymeric materials including monomer units, molecular weight, tacticity, coil dimension, crystallinity, and morphology.
  4. Describe the relationship between the above structural parameters and the mechanical and thermal properties of polymeric materials.
  5. Describe how the structure and mechanical properties of polymeric materials change at the glass transition temperature and at the melting temperature.
  6. Describe how the molecular structure of a surfactant determines its micelle structure.
  7. Describe how surfactant molecules and aggregates affect the optical properties, viscosity and surface tension of polymer solutions.
  8. Calculate the intermolecular and surface forces for molecules and colloids of different geometries.
  9. Design strategies to stabilize or destabilize colloidal systems.
  10. Identify a soft material application in daily life, such as in arts, music, sports or food, and explain how material advancement has imporved the application.