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Implementation of Instrumentation

In response to the discussion of instrumentation in our curricululm: On Wed. (Nov. 19) in macromolecules we went over free-radical copolymerization. On Friday we will look at analyzing copolymers. In some cases TGA is an excellent choice if one or more monomeric subunits has a distint decomposition. I am having students analyze the classic ethylene/vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer (If you have had a bottle of the wine lately and it had a synthetic cork, chances are this is the EVA polymer). I have attached data of a series of these copolymers in which the first transition corresponds to loss of acetic acid from the vinyl acetate unit.

It is estimated that over 60% of industrial chemistry positions work directly with polymers. I think it is important that our students learn important methods of characterization, including polymeric materials.

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I agree 100% about including exposure to polymer chemistry early on. Luckily, it fits well into the organic curriculum. I don't get to the "macromolecules" chapter in the text, but I do teach polymerization in the electrophilic addition chapter.