The Use of Soluble Polyolefins as Supports for Transition Metal Catalysts
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The use of polymer supports for transition metal catalysts are very important and useful in synthetic organic chemistry as they make possible the separation and isolation of catalysts and products quite easy. These polymer-bound ligands/catalysts/reagents can, often, be recovered and recycled numerous times and typically yield products in high purity, negating the need for further purification steps (i.e. column chromatography). Because of this, interest in these systems has garnered international attention in the scientific community as being “Green”. Historically, insoluble, polymer-supports (i.e. Merrifield resin) were used to develop recoverable catalysts. This has the advantage of easy separation and isolation from products after a reaction; because of their insolubility, such supported catalysts can be easily removed by gravity filtration. However, these catalysts often have relatively poor reactivity and selectivity when compared to homogeneous catalysts. Because of this disadvantage, our lab has had interest in the development of soluble polymer-supports for transition metal catalysts. We have developed several separation methods for these soluble polymer-bound catalysts. These include thermomorphic liquid/liquid and solid/liquid as well as latent biphasic liquid/liquid separation techniques. This dissertation describes the use of both, latent biphasic liquid/liquid separation systems and thermomorphic solid/liquid separation systems. In order to perform a latent biphasic iii liquid/liquid separation, a polymer-bound catalyst must have a very high selectivity for one liquid phase over the other. Our lab has pioneered the use of polyisobutylene (PIB) oligomers as supports for transition metal catalysts. Previous work has shown that these oligomers are > 99.96 % phase selectively soluble in nonpolar solvents. This has allowed us to prepare PIB-supported salen Cr(III) complexes that can be used in a latent biphasic liquid/liquid solvent system. The synthesis of these complexes is quite straightforward and such species can be characterized using solution state 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. Also, these complexes can be used to catalyze the ring opening of meso epoxides with azidotrimethylsilane (TMS-N3) and can be recovered and recycled up to 6 times, with no loss in catalytic activity. To perform a thermomorphic solid/liquid separation, a polymer-bound catalyst that is completely insoluble at room temperature but soluble upon heating must be used. Our lab has pioneered the use of polyethylene oligomers (PEOlig) as supports for transition metal catalysts. Such PEOlig-supported catalysts are able perform homogeneous catalytic reactions at elevated temperatures (ca. 65 ○C), but, upon cooling, precipitate out of solution as solids while the products stay in solution. This process allows for the easy separation of a solid catalyst from the product solution. Described herein, is the development of PEOlig-supported salen-Cr(III) complexes and PEOlig-supported NHC-Ru complexes. The preparation of these complexes is also straightforward and such species can be characterized using solution state variable temperature (VT) 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. In the case of the PEOlig-supported salen-Cr(III) complex, it was found to be a recoverable/recyclable catalyst for the ring opening of epoxides with TMS-N3 and could be reused 6 times with no loss in activity. The PE-supported NHC-Ru complex was able to be used as a recyclable ring closing metathesis (RCM) catalyst and could be used up to 10 times.
SubjectTransition metal catalysts
ring closing metathesis
Hobbs, Christopher Eugene (2011). The Use of Soluble Polyolefins as Supports for Transition Metal Catalysts. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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