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KF2130 Polymer Chemistry 7.5 credits

In this course are different aspects of polymer chemistry discussed.

Polymer chemistry is a multidisciplinary science that deals with the chemical synthesis and chemical properties of polymers. This polymer chemistry course covers the synthetic techniques in common use in both academic and industrial laboratories for making a wide variety of polymers. The challenges and latest developments in producing established thermoplastics and elastomers from renewable sources to obtain sustainable polymeric materials are discussed. 

All major synthetic methods are considered: step growth polymerization, chain polymerization including ionic polymerization, radical polymerization, copolymerization, coordination polymerization and ring-opening polymerization. Synthetic reactions on formed polymers are also presented as tools to modify the polymer properties.

Emphasis is placed on how the various synthetic methods are used to control structural features such as molecular weight, branching, crosslinking, and crystallinity.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus KF2130 (Autumn 2023–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

This course covers the most important polymerization reactions, focusing on their reaction mechanisms and kinetic aspects. The most common polymerizations include step growth polymerization and chain polymerization (radical, ion, and coordination polymerization). The course also includes more advanced polymerization techniques such as copolymerization, controlled radical polymerization, heterogeneous polymerization and ring-opening polymerization. Polymerization principles of bulk, solution, suspension, emulsion, and interface polymerization are discussed and compared. Each method presentation will cover the full spectrum from the theoretical understanding of detailed experimental procedures to examples of functional materials prepared by the specific method. Aside theory, the course also focus on calculations and predictions of important parameters and outcomes of polymerizations, including the degree of polymerization, average molecular weight, average functionality, gel point, kinetic chain length, rate constants, chain transfer, copolymerization composition etc.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course the student should
To pass the course be able to:

  • Explain the general reaction course and reaction mechanism for common polymerizations
  • Describe and compare the polymerization principles
  • Calculate parameters and outcomes of polymerizations
  • Evaluate polymerizations from a green chemistry perspective
  • Practically perform different types of polymerizations
  • Present and evaluate laboratory assignments in writing

To achieve higher grades than D be able to

  • Explain the general reaction course and mechanisms for more advanced polymerizations
  • Describe and compare the polymerization principles

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Bachelor's degree in engineering or in sciences including 50 credits in chemistry or chemical engineering. English B/6.

Recommended prerequisites

KF1010 Polymer technology with cellulose technology or KF1040 Polymer technology for the CL programme and three years of studies in chemical science and engineering at bachelor level, or equivalent


No information inserted


Course literature is described in the Course information. 

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LAB2 - Laboratory Course, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN2 - Written exam, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Active participation in all compulsory activities as specified in Course information.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Chemical Science and Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

KF2190 Polymeric Materials: Structure and Properties
KF3090 Polymer chemistry

Supplementary information

Will replace 3E1141 and the course KF2210