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Copolymerization of Ethylene with Acrylate Monomers by Amide-Functionalized α‑Diimine Pd Catalysts

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posted on 20.04.2017 by Feng Zhai, Joseph B. Solomon, Richard F. Jordan
We report the ethylene homopolymerization and ethylene/methyl-acrylate (MA) and ethylene/acrylic-acid (AA) copolymerization behavior of a series of (N,N′-diaryl-α-diimine)­Pd catalysts that contain secondary amide (−CONHMe) or tertiary amide (−CONMe2) substituents on the N-aryl rings, including the “first-generation” catalysts {(2,6-iPr2-Ph)­NCMeCMeN­(2-CONHMe-6-iPr-Ph)}­PdMeCl (1a,a′) and {(2,6-iPr2-Ph)­NCMeCMeN­(2-CONMe2-6-iPr-Ph)}­PdMeCl (1b,b′) and the “second-generation” catalysts [{2,6-(CHPh2)2-4-Me-Ph}­NCMeCMeN­(2-CONHMe-6-iPr-Ph)]­PdMeCl (1d,d′) and [{2,6-(CHPh2)2-4-Me-Ph}­NCMeCMeN­(2-CONMe2-6-iPr-Ph)]­PdMeCl (1e,e′). Activation of 1d,d′ and 1e,e′ by NaB­{3,5-(CF3)2C6H3}4 generates active ethylene polymerization catalysts that produce highly branched (77–81 br/1000 C) polyethylenes with number-average molecular weights (Mns) in the range 26–60 kDa. The replacement of two isopropyl units in 1a,a′ and 1b,b′ with benzhydryl groups in 1d,d′ and 1e,e′ leads to a significant improvement in ethylene homopolymerization performance. The secondary amide-functionalized catalyst 1d,d′ incorporates ca. twice as much MA and ca. three times as much AA as the iPr-substituted catalyst [{2,6-(CHPh2)2-4-Me-Ph}­NCMeCMeN­(2,6-iPr2-Ph)]­PdMeCl (1f,f′) in copolymerization with ethylene. The reactions of 1a,a′ and 1b,b′ with metal salts that contain weakly coordinating anions lead to extrusion of CH4 and the formation of [{(μ-κ2-N,N′,κ-O-α-diimine)­Pd}2(μ-CH2)]2+ complexes, in which the amide carbonyl O atoms coordinate to Pd centers.