MSCI-438 Chemistry of Modern Polymeric Materials
The development of synthetic polymers such as plastic, rubber, and nylon is one of the main achievements of the 20th century. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of organic chemistry within the context of modern polymeric materials. Students will prepare various synthetic polymers but also work with commercial available polymeric materials. Works of art made of such materials are extremely challenging to conservators since they are vulnerable towards deterioration. Signs of degradation such as discoloration, stickiness, and cracking are usually observed within less than 30 years. Analytical instrumentation will be used to identify and characterize molecular changes before and after artificial aging.