Well-defined phosphino-phenolate neutral nickel(II) catalysts for efficient (co)polymerization of norbornene and ethylene.

Research paper by Yan-Ping YP Zhang, Wei-Wei WW Li, Bai-Xiang BX Li, Hong-Liang HL Mu, Yue-Sheng YS Li

Indexed on: 24 Mar '15Published on: 24 Mar '15Published in: Dalton Transactions


Phosphino-phenolate neutral nickel catalysts 1-3/B(C6F5)3, without the help of any organoaluminum compound, were found to be efficient catalytic systems for norbornene polymerization and its copolymerization with norbornene derivatives. The amount of B(C6F5)3 required for achieving a high efficiency (3 equiv.) was markedly lower compared to previous reports, and high molecular weight polymers were obtained (>10(6) g mol(-1)). Efficient incorporation of polar monomers NBC, NBA, and NBM was also achieved in a controllable fashion, yielding high molecular weight copolymers. Catalysts 1-3 were highly active for ethylene polymerization as single component catalysts, with an activity of up to 10(7) g molNi(-1) h(-1), and catalyst 3 was more readily initiated at lower temperature. Catalysts 1-3 were also efficient in incorporating norbornene (up to 30%) into the polyethylene backbone. Bisligated phosphino-phenolate nickel complex 4 and salicylaldimine complex 5 were also studied for comparison, which further verified the unique performance of catalysts 1-3. Preliminary NMR analyses were conducted to explore the norbornene polymerization mechanism.