A Novel Catalyst Technology for the Polymerization of ?-Olefins
The Invention A novel catalyst technology for the polymerization of alpha -olefins was developed including several families of pre-catalysts based on early transition metal complexes of amine-phenolate ligands. These pre-catalysts, when activated by various co-catalysts under mild reaction conditions, exhibit a broad range of reactivities in polymerization of a variety of alpha -olefin monomers. These include:
Highly active catalysts for atactic polimerization of long chain alpha -olefin monomers. Active catalysts for ultra-high molecular weight polymers. Catalysts affording the combination of living and isotactic polymerization of alpha-olefin monomers at ambient temperatures. Catalysts affording various degrees of isotacticity control and molecular weights in polymerization of alpha-olefin monomers. Highly active catalysts for highly-isotactic polymerization of bulky olefins. Catalysts of forming a variety of polymeric products having high molecular weight and low molecular weight distribution.
The Need New polymeric materials exhibiting modified properties while being derived from simple building blocks are being constantly sought. Such materials may be obtained by employing novel catalytic systems.
Potential Applications Materials with improved toughness. High melting-point clear plastics for the electronics industry. Polymers with main-chain chirality for the optics industry.
Advantages The catalysts developed show a very broad range of properties, and may thus lead to a broad range of products. One of the advantages is the high activity towards high-olefins, that may lead to efficient co-polymerization of low (ethylene) and high (1-octene) monomers. Another advantage is the ability to produce polymers with various degrees of tacticity. Some catalysts are available in an enantiomerically-pure form and may lead to chiral polymers from non-chiral monomers. One of the most important advantages of these catalysts is their straightforward synthesis from readily available starting materials making their cost competitive relative to other homogeneous systems such as metallocenes.
Stage A broad range of pre-catalysts were developed. Their activity towards various olefins was evaluated on a several-gram scale. Several catalysts were evaluated in ethylene and propylene polymerization on a hundred to a few hundred grams scale.
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