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  1. 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. , propyl vinyl ether, allyl butyl ether, methyl-10-undecenoate, and 5-acetoxy-1-pentene) copolymerization. Notably, combining either Co 2+ or Zn 2+ with our nickel complexes increased the rates of polymerization in the presence of propyl vinyl ether by about 5.0- and 2.4-fold, respectively. Although further studies are needed to elucidate the structural and mechanistic roles of the secondary metals, this work is an important advance toward the development of cation-switchable polymerization catalysts. 
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