Materials chemistry students begin with a solid grounding in chemistry plus a specialized exploration of the chemistry of solid-state substances, their preparations and properties. They learn about polymers, electronic materials, optical materials, magnetic materials, surface chemistry, biomaterials, crystallography, and other aspects of chemistry related to the preparation, characterization, and use of specialized solid-state materials.
Students learn about the chemistry and properties of polymers and polymeric materials, with a focus is on the synthesis, kinetics, physical properties, and applications. Students learn about the solubility and miscibility of polymers, crystalline phases and melting points, and amorphous phases and glass-transition temperatures. They also get an overview of polymers of industrial application, commodity polymers, and of polymers of specific applications such as optical, electronic, and biomedical polymers.
In addition to polymer chemistry, students also learn about supramolecular chemistry. This includes the potential of fabricating smart materials using inclusion chemistry, dendrimers, molecular self-assembly, and crystal engineering.
Much of the studies are intensive and hands-on, and students spend a lot of time in the laboratory creating and analyzing how polymers, colloids, and supramolecules work in nature.