cs9b00129_si_001.pdf (11.46 MB)
Download file

Tailored Strength Neighboring Group Interactions Switch Polymerization to Dimerization Catalysis

Download (11.46 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 21.03.2019, 00:00 authored by Eva Schiebel, Stefano Santacroce, Laura Falivene, Inigo Göttker-Schnetmann, Lucia Caporaso, Stefan Mecking
A combined experimental and theoretical study elucidates how Ni···O neighboring group interactions drastically switch catalytic properties toward ethylene. A range of salicylaldiminato complexes with aryloxy groups in the 2,6-position of the N-phenyl group was found to dimerize and oligomerize ethylene to butenes and branched oligomers (C4, C6, C8, C10, ...) in pressure reactor experiments, while corresponding reference catalysts with arylmethylene groups yield linear polyethylene with Mn of 100.000 g mol–1. While both types of catalysts consume ethylene with similar high activities (105 turnovers h–1), the rate of ß-hydride elimination (BHE) is much increased for the case of aryloxy substitution. Density functional theory (DFT) studies show that formation of the relevant cis agostic complex from which BHE occurs by displacement of ethylene from the cis-alkyl olefin complex is promoted by an Ni···O interaction. This low energy pathway renders chain transfer competitive with insertion chain growth. The resulting Ni···O intermediate is rather stable and similar in energy to key species of catalysis (ß-agostic and alkyl olefin complexes) but barely not yet an energetic sink that would impede catalysis.