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Teaching coordinator :

Renaud Nicola├┐

Research center

Level : 1st year

Course Language : French

Term : core curriculum

Number of hours : 16

ECTS Credits : 2
CP Polymer chemistry
Teaching site :
Lectures: 12 h - Tutorials: 4 h


This course aims at providing the concepts and tools used in macromolecular engineering to design and prepare polymers at will.
To this aim, the general characteristics of the two main polymerization families are presented, i.e. chain growth and step growth polymerizations, and the most significant examples of each family are discussed in great details, namely radical polymerization and polycondensation, respectively.
The concepts presented during lectures and tutorials (synthetic methodology, structure/reactivity relationship, reaction mechanisms, kinetics, polymerization processes) should allow for the rational design and synthesis of polymers while taking into accounts structural parameters such as molar masses, dispersity, composition, topology and functionality.


  1. Introduction

    • Thermoplastics / Thermosets
    • Chain-growth polymerization / Step-growth polymerization
    • Few properties of polymers
    • Macromolecular engineering

  2. Radical polymerization

    • Structure/reactivity relationship
    • Elementary steps
    • Initiation
    • Propagation
    • Termination
    • Transfer and telomerization
    • Degree of polymerization
    • Copolymerization

  3. Controlled radical polymerization

    • Concepts and characteristics
    • Nitroxide-mediated radical polymerization (NMP)
    • Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)
    • Reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization (RAFT)

  4. Radical polymerization processes

    • Bulk polymerization
    • Solution polymerization
    • Suspension polymerization
    • Emulsion polymerization

  5. Step-growth polymerization

    • Degree of polymerization
    • Molar masses and molecular weight distribution
    • Gel point and networks
    • Kinetics of step-growth polymerizations
    • Main families of polymers obtained by polycondensation and polyaddition

  6. Macromolecular engineering

    • Molar masses and molecular weight distribution
    • Composition: copolymers
    • Topology: grafted polymers
    • Topology: branched polymers
    • Topology: dendrimers
    • Functionality: chemical modification


  • Radical and controlled radical polymerizations
  • Polycondensation and polyaddition

Requirements : Basic concepts in organic chemistry.

Evaluation mechanism : Written examination.

Last Modification : Monday 5 June 2017

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