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CODE 62123
SEMESTER 1° Semester
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Questo insegnamento è propedeutico per gli insegnamenti:
  • Chemistry and Chemical Technologies 8757 (coorte 2022/2023)


Polymeric materials are formulations having a polymer or a mixture of polymers as main component. Polymeric materials are extremely versatile and, therefore, widely used in industrial domains and daily activities. This teaching provides the fundamentals to the knowledge of this class of materials, placing particular emphasis on the structure-property relationships, which justify their widespread use.



The aim of the teaching is to provide the basic principles of polymer science and technology to understand the molecular and structural origins of polymeric material properties.


It is an introductory teaching on the science and technology of polymeric materials aimed at:

1) acquiring the basic concepts about polymers and their chemical, physical, mechanical, thermal, and rheological properties in mass, solution and mixture;

2) understanding the molecular and structural origin of the properties of polymers and polymeric materials;

3) knowing the main techniques applied for the molecular and thermal characterization of polymeric materials and how to use them.

The teaching is focused to develop the student's ability to correlate the theoretical notions on polymeric materials with experimental data for their characterization and use. To pursue this goal, traditional lectures are always accompanied by concrete examples related to everyday life as well as industrial practice. At the end of the teaching the student will be able to:

  • know the molecular structure of the mostly employed polymers and classify them according to different parameters;
  • express himself/herself with adequate terminology to describe phenomena and processes involving polymeric materials;
  • correlate the chemical, physical, mechanical, thermal and rheological properties of polymeric materials to their composition and structure;
  • identify and understand the data available from molecular and thermal characterization techniques of polymeric materials;
  • know and understand the thermodynamic bases of polymeric solutions and mixtures;
  • describe and understand the main polymerization mechanisms and the most common industrial processes of polymer synthesis.

The teaching is also provided for the degree course in Chemistry and Chemical Technologies (Chemical Technologies curriculum) for 5 CFUs. Moreover, it is frequently chosen as optional teaching for 4 CFUs. The learning outcomes do not include the last one or two points of the previous list for the students who attend the lessons for 5 or 4 CFUs, respectively.


No official prerequisite, but it is recommended to have overcome the exams of General and Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.


The teaching consists of traditional lectures for a total of 48 hours, sometimes accompanied with exercises carried out by the teacher in the classroom.

Starting from the 2023-2024 academic year, the teaching will include a technical-practical laboratory of 13 hours (1 CFU) for carrying out experimental activities related to the learning outcomes.


First part (4 CFUs):

Generalities on polymers and polymeric materials. Structure of the polymeric backbone: composition, configuration, conformation. Classification and nomenclature of polymers.

Molecular characterization techniques of polymers (osmometry, viscosimetry, light scattering, ultracentrifugation, gel permeation chromatography).

Solid state polymers: amorphous polymers (common amorphous polymers and their use, glass transition temperature and study of the parameters influencing it), semi-crystalline polymers (common semi-crystalline polymers and their use, the melting temperature and study of the temperatures influencing it, thermodynamics and kinetics of the melting-crystallization process), thermosetting polymers, characterization techniques (densitometry, DSC, determination of crystallinity degree, TGA).

Second part (1 CFU):

Introduction to rheological properties of polymers in mass and in solution.

Elastomers: structural properties, thermodynamic and statistical study of elasticity.

Polymers in solution: polymer-solvent interactions, introduction to the Flory-Huggins model.

Third part (1 CFU):

Introduction to polymeric blends.

Basics on polymers synthesis.

Due to the CFU differentiation in the study plan, the third part of the teaching is not provided to students of the degree course in Chemistry and Chemical Technologies (Chemical Technologies curriculum). Both second and third parts of the teaching are not provided to students who attend the lessons for 4 CFUs.

As a quality assurance, the detailed program of the teaching is uploaded to the corresponding aula@web page, so the students can verify the correspondence between topics and learning outcomes.



To facilitate learning, lesson notes are uploaded to the corresponding aul@web simultaneously with their content’s presentation in the classroom. Verification quizzes and tests are uploaded to the same web page together with numerical exercises (with and without resolution) to check individual preparation.

The following supporting texts are suggested:

Scienza e tecnologie dei materiali, D. R. Askeland, P. P. Fulay, W. J. Wright – Edizioni Città Studi, 2017

Fondamenti di Struttura, Proprietà e Tecnologia dei Polimeri- Testi AIM - Edizioni Nuova Cultura, 2011

Fondamenti di Scienza dei Polimeri - M. Guaita, F. Ciardelli, E. Pedemonte - Pacini Editore, 2009

Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali Polimerici - S. Bruckner, G. Allegra, M. Pegoraro, F.P. La Mantia- EdiSES, 2007

Fundamentals of Polymer Science – P. C. Painter, M. M. Coleman - Technomic Publishing Co., Inc. , 1997- 2nd edition.

Polymers: Chemistry and Physics of Modern Materials – J. M. G. Cowie – Blackie Academic & Professional, Chapman & Hull Eds., 1991 – 2nd edition.

Supplementary material is provided on request to working students or students with SLD to meet specific needs.


Exam Board





MAILA CASTELLANO (President Substitute)



The teaching is held on the first semester, starting from september 26th, 2022.

The lessons timetable is available at the links below:




The exam consists in an oral examination conducted by two teachers (including the teacher in charge) for a duration of at least 30 minutes. During the calendar year, seven exam dates are scheduled in the time intervals established by the Manifesto degli Studi and the Regolamento del Corso di Studio of the CdS involved. Extraordinary sessions outside the as-indicated periods will be granted only to students overdue with the curriculum studiorum.

The oral examination consists of three parts, which of them is evaluated as specified below:

- the first part consists in the interpretation and discussion of experimental data deriving from the characterization of polymeric materials in order to assess the student’s ability to apply theoretical concepts to real situations; the first part is awarded a maximum rating of 15/30;

- the second part is a test consisting of 4 questions (multiple and/or open answer) on 4 different topics of the program; the second part is awarded a maximum rating of 10/30;

- in the third part, the student is asked to describe, discuss and compare properties and main application areas of a polymer or a class of polymers; the third part is awarded a maximum rating of 5/30.

The questions relating to the three parts of the oral examination are included in a single document, previously prepared by the examination commission and numbered. The student chooses the document among those available based on the number and without knowing its content. Composition and name of the document are differentiated based on the CFU number of the study plan.

For students with disabilities or with SLD, the examination methods refer to the specific regulations of the University of Genova (


The oral examination will aim to check the effective achievement of the learning outcomes by the student, particularly as far as his/her ability to correlate the properties of polymeric materials to their composition and structure is concerned. Otherwise, the student is invited to deepen his preparation also by taking advantage of further explanations by the teacher before repeating the exam.

Moreover, the oral examination will assess if the student has reached an adequate level of comprehension of the program topics and if he/she is able to express himself/herself using a correct terminology. The student's ability to compare and integrate the data available from various experimental characterization techniques and from the correlation structure-property models included in the teaching program will also be evaluated.

Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
06/02/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
20/02/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
13/04/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
29/05/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
19/06/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
10/07/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
11/09/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
25/09/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale


Any pre-requisites are defined in the following documents: Regolamento del Corso di Studio and/or Manifesto degli Studi of CdS involved.

However, it is recommended to have overcome the exams of General and Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.