CHEM3004 Organic Materials Chemistry
Aims and Objectives
To provide an overview of the relationships between molecular or solid state structures and material properties. This is an interdisciplinary course which aims to provide an understanding of how molecular structure affects the properties of materials. The course consists of three sections: synthesis, analysis and properties. The use of design rules and advanced characterisation methods in the development of modern materials will be highlighted.
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Draw correct mechanisms of polymer formation using specific monomer units and reagents, including stereoselectivity.
- Recognise the monomer units from a given polymer structure.
- Give appropriate reagents for further modification and processing.
- Apply chemical knowledge to design materials with specific properties.
- Predict the use of analytical methods to characterise specific materials, and interpret the data in view of the material’s properties.
- Show awareness of the impact of organic materials in society and environment.
- Present research results formally and informally, individually or as a group.
Section 1: Introduction to Macromolecules Macromolecules are among the most versatile, and hence most widely used, materials. The objective of this part of the course is to introduce students to a selection of common polymers and their properties. Lectures will cover polymer classification, different types of 'common' polymers (e.g. polyethylene, polypropylene, PTFE; nylon), their synthesis, structure and selected physical properties (e.g.crystallisation, glass transition, viscoelasticity). Also naturally occuring polymers and macromolecules that find applications as materials will be covered, together with their synthetic derivatisation. Characterisation techniques will be described, including NMR/IR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, chromatography, light scattering, thermal analysis and viscoelasticity. Highlights will also include societal issues arising from synthetic polymers such as environmental impact and recycling, and applications of societal importance such as microchip fabrication and medicinal applications (drug delivery, implants). A characterisation and synthesis workshop will be given, with examples taken from standard techniques. Section 2: Advanced Macromolecule Materials These lectures, intended to introduce students to some of the cutting-edge concepts in Organic Materials Chemistry, will cover a selection from the following topics: • Physical chemistry of polymers • Self-healing polymers • Random and block copolymers • Optical polymers • Biodegradeable polymers and environmental issues • Supramolecular systems as future materials. • Microchip fabrication • Smart materials with a focus on smart gels • Organic electronics in biology including issues of biocompatibility • Chemistry of synthetic photosynthetic centres Section 3: Web-based research and presentation workshops. Groups of 5-6 students will spend 2 hours in a computer suite researching specific types of speciality polymer then plan a presentation of their findings. Individual summary handouts (1 page) will be submitted by each student and assessed. Each group will give a 15 min. presentation describing the background, science details and Intellectual Property position on their type of polymer and assessed as a group.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures, computer workshop, group presentation
|Practical classes and workshops||8|
|Completion of assessment task||30|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||40|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
D.J. Walton, J.P. Lorimer. Polymers.
J.M.G. Cowie, V. Arrighi. Polymers: Chemistry and Physics of modern materials.
X. Chen, H. Fuchs. Soft Matter Nanotechnology.
|Examination (2 hours)||75%|
|Examination (2 hours)||100%|