Brook, Michael A.
Stöver, Harald D.H.
Polymer Chemistry at McMaster involves the design, synthesis and characterization of novel monomers and polymers. In addition, we have expertise in controlling the properties of existing polymers to prepare new, functional materials. At the heart of this work are the basic principles of chemistry, which are utilized by our graduate students and researchers to create polymeric materials that have interesting scientific and industrial properties. Hence, it is clear that macromolecular, or polymer chemistry, is well suited for graduate specialization.
The field combines core concepts of organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry, with aspects of chemical engineering and materials science, to prepare sophisticated molecules and materials that are interesting not only scientifically, but also in the solution of industrially relevant macro-scale problems. The large size of macromolecules introduces a set of special polymer concepts we have to deal with. These include the chemical mechanisms by which monomers link to form a polymer chain, how to characterize and handle these polymers, and what properties we can give them through proper choice of monomers and polymerization conditions. The time has come where monomers and polymers can be designed to meet virtually any need. To do so, however, requires a sound understanding of the underlying macromolecular chemistry.