Author: Abe Ravve
This textbook's title reflects its core focus, and its 800 pages point to the depth and complexity of the field of polymer chemistry. The preface describes it as "a textbook for a graduate course in polymer chemistry and a reference book for practising polymer chemists", whereas both its previous editions (published in 1995 and 2000) were more tailored towards undergraduate teaching.
In this new edition, the authors have broadened the book's focus to include a full chapter on the physical chemistry of polymers, with additional sections on kinetics and thermodynamics of polymerisation. Furthermore, a number of new "hot topics" have been included, such as conducting polymers, polymeric materials for drug release and organic solar cells, and all these topics really bring this book up to date and highlight the commercial and academic importance of polymeric materials.
The first chapter provides an excellent introduction to the field and contains a particularly clear section on nomenclature, which will be very useful to researchers. A comprehensive section on the physical properties of polymers follows, introducing key properties such as crystallinity, solution properties and molecular weight.
The next six chapters cover step and chain growth polymers in depth, with plenty of clear figures and equations to guide the reader through nearly 500 pages of information. In terms of the organic reactions of polymers, the authors present the full spectrum of monomers, polymers (including an informative look at naturally occurring polymers in chapter 8), and a broad range of reaction types in chapter 9.
The final chapter will be useful to readers seeking to understand the cutting-edge design and application of polymeric materials.
Although the book is written at a level that requires some proficiency in organic and physical chemistry, each chapter attempts to start at a level where no prior knowledge is needed, making each section accessible in its own right. If only all textbooks were written with the same goal in mind!
The end-of-chapter problems and exercises provide a challenge for the reader and will be very useful for in-class use by lecturers. Impressively, the authors list both primary and secondary sources throughout, and this is particularly helpful when trying to track a particular reaction, diagram or set of data to a specific journal article.
Despite its intimidating size, I will enjoy using this book in my teaching. It is a comprehensive guide covering this broad topic in a clear and accessible manner, and readers will discover new and interesting polymer chemistry throughout.
Who is it for? Graduates and researchers studying and working in the field of polymer chemistry.
Presentation: Clear and concise.
Would you recommend it? Yes. It is a valuable and comprehensive resource.