Principles Of Polymer Synthesis

By Prof. Rajat K. Das   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 215
This course will introduce and discuss the basic principles of polymer chemistry. Specifically, it will stress upon the fundamentals of important polymerization reactions (emphasis on step polymerization and radical polymerization) and the principles that govern the structure of the resulting polymers. Synthesis and structure-property relation of several industrially important polymers will be discussed illustrating the applications of these principles. The course will also contain an introduction to basic chemical reactor design principles.


INDUSTRY SUPPORT: All industries where polymer and polymer products are being designed, developed and used
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Metallurgy and Material science & Mining Engineering
Credit Points : 2
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 16 Sep 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 25 Sep 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Historical development of polymer science (since the early 0th century), classification of polymers (based upon the structure of polymers/based upon mechanism of polymerization), concept of average molecular weight of polymers, how to determine different averages for molecular weight (specific methods such as gel permeation chromatography, vapour pressure osmometry, viscosity measurement, membrane osmometry etc. will be discussed in some detail).
Week 2:  Step polymerizationControl of molecular weight (stoichiometric excess or monofunctional impurity),number fraction and weight fraction distribution functions, side reactions in step polymerization (cyclization vs linear polymerization, the effect of ring stability and kinetic factor), interfacial polymerization (general principle along with specific examples, applicability).
Week 3:  Chain polymerizationgeneral discussion of radical vs ionic polymerization; types of initiators; rate expression for radical chain polymerization, initiator efficiency; different modes of termination (coupling and disproportionation), chain transfer reactions and molecular weight control, autoacceleration, ceiling temperature.
Week 4:  Chain polymerization (contd..)Effect of temperature on rate of radical chain polymerization and on molecular weight of polymers, dead end polymerization; Chain copolymerizationterminal model and derivation of instantaneous copolymer composition, concept of reactivity ratio, ideal copolymerization, alternating and azeotropic copolymerization, copolymer composition drift with conversion, experimental determination of reactivity ratio, microstructure of copolymers; Living polymerization methods such as ATRP, NMD, and RAFT. Discussion of examples from research papers that utilize some of these strategies to obtain specific properties.
Week 5:  Design of Chemical ReactorsDifferent kinds of reactors (batch, CSTR, PFR, PBR etc.), basic mole balance equations and concept of reactor design with respect to the desired outcome of a chemical reaction (sizing of CSTR and PFR with respect to a targeted conversion in steady state), PFRs in series vs CSTRs in series.
Week 6:  Design of Chemical Reactors (contd..)Effect of the reactor on the molecular weight distribution in polymerization (radical vs step growth), Selectivity in chemical reaction vs choice of reactor, basic energy balance equation, multiplicity of steady states in CSTR, ignition and extinction temperature, application of these concepts in polymerization.
Week 7:  Industrial synthesis and structure-property relation of important engineering step polymers and specialty polymers ( + )
Week 8:  Industrial synthesis and structure-property relation of important engineering step polymers and specialty polymers ( + polyesters, polycarbonates, epoxy resins, aliphatic and aromatic polyamides, polyurethanes, polyimides etc.); different fiber spinning processes

Books and references

  1. Principles of Polymerization, by G. Odian, Wiley-Interscience
  2. Industrial Polymers, Specilty Polymers, and their applications, by M. Chandra and S. K. Roy, CRC Press

Instructor bio

Prof. Rajat K. Das

IIT Kharagpur
Prof.Rajat K. Das is an Assistant Professor at Materials Science Centre, IIT Kharagpur. His research interests include smart stimuli responsive polymeric materials and multiple network hydrogels. He is taking the course ‘Manufacture of Industrial Polymers’ for 1st year MTech students of the centre.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 25 September 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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