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Switchable Chromium(II) Ethylene Oligomerization/Polymerization Catalyst

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posted on 2005-10-24, 00:00 authored by Patrick Crewdson, Sandro Gambarotta, Marie-Charlotte Djoman, Ilia Korobkov, Robbert Duchateau
The tri- and divalent chromium derivatives of [N-Me,tripyrr] ([N-Me,tripyrr] = 2,5-bis(diphenyl(pyrrol-2-yl)methyl)-1-methylpyrrole) [N-Me,tripyrr]CrCl (1), and [N-Me,tripyrr]Cr(L)2·(THF)0.5 (2) [L = THF (2a), pyridine (2b)] were obtained in good yield from the reaction of the dipotassium salt of the ligand with CrCl3(THF)3 and CrCl2(THF)2, respectively. Reaction of the dilithium salt of the ligand with CrCl2(THF)2 led to the divalent analogue [N-Me,tripyrr]Cr(μ-Cl)Li(THF)3 (3), wherein a Li−Cl unit was retained by the metal center. The compounds were tested for ethylene oligomerization activity upon activation with two different alumoxanes. In the case of MAO, the Cr(II) catalyst precursors 2b and 3 showed a marked increase in activity with respect to the trivalent 1. The product distributions from compounds 1 and 2b were nearly identical, indicating that the Cr(II) oxidation state provides better catalyst precursors. Use of the i-BuAlO activator instead of MAO afforded exclusively polymerization with high activity and produced linear, low molecular weight polyethylene.