Teaching & Academics

Plastics and Polymers – A Material Class Shaping the World

What you’ll learn

  • Basic Chemical and Physical Concepts – We will cover the most important reaction concepts, analysis methods and properties of polymers
  • Structure Property Relationship – You will understand how the structure and choice of building blocks influences material properties
  • Polymerization Techniques – We will have a look into industrial polymerization processes and their individual advantages and disadvantages
  • Identify Common Polymers – You will be able to draw and understand what makes polymers from daily life and high-tech applications special


  • Basic Understanding of Chemistry and Chemical Nomenclature
  • No Detailed Knowledge Required – Everything will be Introduced Step by Step
  • High-School Math Skills required only to follow some Detailed Explanations


Plastics and Polymers – A Material Class Shaping the World

You are a professional, a student, a teacher or just interested in general in the principles of Plastics and Polymers? Then this is the right course for you!

In this course, we will cover various conceptsreactions and applications of Polymers. For this purpose we will start at the very beginning, picking you up and introducing into what are Polymers and what makes them special. We will shine light on various aspects of their properties and methods of analysis while covering characteristics of the most typical reaction types to obtain Polymers.

The concept of this course is not to only give textbook explanations to things. Instead it aims at using your knowledge to understand the bigger picture and apply the knowledge you gained.

The curriculum of this course will allow you a step-by-step introduction by covering the following topics:

  • Definitions and History – Here you will be picked up at the very beginning, learning what makes up a polymer and what makes it different from low-molecular compounds
  • Properties and Analysis – We will talk about different physical parameters like crystallinity, molecular weight, viscosity and mechanical parameters and how they can be measured
  • Radical Polymerization – This chapter will help introduce you into the concept of radical polymerization. It provides a detailed view into the mechanistic and kinetic background and highlights the importance for industrial processes.
  • Ionic Polymerization – We will have a broad look into how this type of polymerization can help to tailor the structure and thus the properties of polymers.
  • Polyinsertion – In this segment, a brief look into the large scale processes will be provided to produce the most common polymers PE and PP
  • Polycondensation and Polyaddition – Here we will discuss the characteristics of step-growth reactions by means of various example from every-day applications. We will see how the properties can be tailored and how this is important for the properties.
  • Focus Lectures – Specialized lectures will provide deeper insights into the kinetic background. These lectures are not required to understand the course but rather serve as an additional explanation.
  • Quizzes – The course will be outlined by providing quizzes in every chapter serving for you to track and check on your learning process.

Finishing this course, you will be able to talk about how common polymers are made, how their properties can be tailored and how they look on a molecular level. From a technical perspective, you will also understand how the choice of reaction parameters can influence the final product!

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone who is interested in Basic Principles of Polymers and Plastics
  • Anyone who wants to gain a Broader Understanding of Polymer Chemistry
  • Anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding about one of the most important Class of Materials
  • Anyone who is interested in Performance Materials
  • Anyone who aims to Review and broaden Material Chemistry Knowledge

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