We have prepared a new series of nickel phosphine phosphonate ester complexes that feature two metal-chelating polyethylene glycol (PEG) side arms. Metal binding and reactivity studies in polar solvents showed that they readily coordinate external cations, including alkali (Li + , Na + , K + ), alkaline (Mg 2+ , Ca 2+ ), transition (Sc 3+ , Co 2+ , Zn 2+ ), post-transition (Ga 3+ ), and lanthanide (La 3+ ) metals. Although olefin polymerization reactions are typically performed in non-polar solvents, which cannot solubilize +2 and +3 metal cations, we discovered that our nickel catalysts could promote ethylene polymerization in neat tetrahydrofuran. This advance allowed us, for the first time, to systematically investigate the effects of a wide range of M + , M 2+ , and M 3+ ions on the reactivity of nickel olefin polymerization catalysts. In ethylene homopolymerization, the addition of Co(OTf) 2 to our nickel-PEG complexes provided the largest boost in activity (up to 11-fold, 2.7 × 10 6 g mol −1 h −1 ) compared to that in the absence of external salts. The catalyst enhancing effects of secondary metals were also observed in studies of ethylene and polar olefin ( e.g.more »
Catalyst-controlled stereoselective cationic polymerization of vinyl ethers
The tacticity of vinyl polymers has a profound effect on their physical properties. Despite the well-developed stereoselective methods for the polymerization of propylene and other nonpolar α-olefins, stereoselective polymerization of polar vinyl monomers has proven more challenging. We have designed chiral counterions that systematically bias the reactivity and chain-end stereochemical environment during cationic polymerization. This approach overrides conventional chain-end stereochemical bias to achieve catalyst-controlled stereoselective polymerization. We demonstrate that this method is general to vinyl ether substrates, providing access to a range of isotactic poly(vinyl ether)s with high degrees of isotacticity. The obtained materials display the tensile properties of commercial polyolefins but adhere more strongly to polar substrates by an order of magnitude, indicating their promise for next-generation engineering applications.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 1439 to 1443
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Synthesis of terpyridine-containing polycarbonates with post polymerization providing water-soluble and micellar polymers and their metal complexesCarbon dioxide based polymers synthesized from the metal-catalyzed copolymeriation of epoxides and CO 2 containing the terpyridine ligand as an end group are reported. The strategy used was to carry out the polymerization in the presence of a carboxylic acid derivative of terpyridine, 4′-(4-carboxyphenyl)-2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine (HL), as a chain transfer agent. The epoxide monomer possessing a vinyl substituent, allyl glycidyl ether (AGE), was copolymerized with CO 2 employing a (salen)Co( iii ) catalyst to afford a polycarbonate which upon the addition of mercaptoacetic acid across the double bond, followed by deprotonation, yielded a water soluble polymer. In a similar manner, the sequential formation of a diblock terpolymer produced from propylene oxide, AGE, and CO 2 provided a amphiphilic polycarbonate which self-assembled upon addition to water to form micelle nanostructures. The molecular weights of these CO 2 -derived polycarbonates were shown to be easily controlled by the quantity of chain transfer agent used. These polymeric ligands were demonstrated to provide a modular design for synthesizing a wide variety of metal complexes as illustrated herein for zinc and platinum derivatives.
Plastic production continually increases its share of global oil consumption. Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) are a necessary component of many industries, from automotive and construction to healthcare and medical devices. To reduce the environmental burden of TPE production on the world, we developed two new ABA triblock copolymers synthesized through cationic reversable addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization from renewable monomers. Using poly(isobutyl vinyl ether) (PIBVE) as the soft block and either poly( p -methoxystyrene) (PMOS) or poly(2,3-dihydrofuran) (PDHF) as the hard blocks, we produced triblock copolymers with varying volume fractions and characterized their material properties. PDHF-PIBVE-PDHF is sourced almost entirely from simple alcohols and exhibits mechanical properties comparable to those of commercial TPEs. This effort demonstrates the utility of cationic RAFT for the production of sustainable TPEs.
Sticky ends in a self-assembling ABA triblock copolymer: the role of ureas in stimuli-responsive hydrogelsDirecting polymer self-assembly through noncovalent interactions is a powerful way to control the structure and function of nanoengineered materials. Dynamic hydrogen bonds are particularly useful for materials with structures that change over time or in response to specific stimuli. In the present work, we use the supramolecular association of urea moieties to manipulate the morphology, thermal response, and mechanical properties of soft polymeric hydrogels. Urea-terminated poly(isopropyl glycidyl ether)- b -poly(ethylene oxide)- b -poly(isopropyl glycidyl ether) ABA triblock copolymers were synthesized using controlled, anionic ring-opening polymerization and subsequent chain-end functionalization. Triblock copolymers with hydroxy end-groups were incapable of hydrogelation, while polymers terminated with meta -bis-urea motifs formed robust gels at room temperature. Rheometric analysis of the bulk gels, variable-temperature infrared spectroscopy (VT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) confirmed the formation of structured hydrogels via association of the meta -bis-urea end-groups. Monourea end-groups did not result in the same regular structure as the meta -bis-urea. In future, the reported hydrogels could be useful for elastomeric, shape-morphing 3D-printed constructs, or as biomimetic scaffolds with precisely tailored porosity and mechanical properties.
Biomass-derived isosorbide (IS) was converted into a mono-glycal ( i.e. vinyl ether) derivative (Gly-IS) to investigate its efficacy for cationic polymerization. While homopolymerization was unsuccessful, likely due to the steric demand near the propagating cationic site, copolymerization with isobutyl vinyl ether (IBVE) revealed great promise for the use of Gly-IS as a rigid and sustainable comonomer. Traditional cationic methods yielded copolymers with IBVE, but the incorporation of Gly-IS was hindered by the propensity for Lewis acids to catalyze a ring-opening reaction driven by aromatization to a chiral furan analog. This reaction was discovered to be significantly sequestered through the use of metal-free photoinitiated cationic copolymerization methods that are void of Lewis acid reagents, yielding a much higher incorporation of Gly-IS (up to 42 mol%) into the copolymer. The rigidity and chirality of the Gly-IS repeating unit was found to increase the glass transition temperature ( T g ) up to 25 °C with 33 mol% incorporation at modest molar mass (10.4 kg mol −1 ) while all copolymers displayed thermal stability up to 320 °C under inert atmosphere. Due to its chiral structure, specific optical rotation [α] of the copolymer also increased with incorporation of Gly-IS. Therefore, Gly-IS presents opportunitymore »