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Homopolymerization of n‐butyl methacrylate using bis(salicylaldiminate)copper(II)/ methylaluminoxane catalysts

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Polymerization catalysts based on copper precursors appear particularly interesting due to the low metal cost, limited toxicity and modest sensitivity to deactivation by polar species. To date, α‐olefin and polar monomer coordination polymerization catalysed using copper catalysts has been scarcely investigated, and a good part of the literature is represented by patents. Here this research has been expanded to the study of the performances of bis(salicylaldiminate)copper(II)/methylaluminoxane (MAO) catalysts in the polymerization of n‐butyl methacrylate. The study of the catalytic activity of bis(salicylaldiminate)copper(II)/MAO systems in n‐butyl methacrylate polymerization was focused on the relationship between the catalytic behaviour and the main reaction conditions and ligand structures. The electronic and steric characteristics of the chelate ligands play an important role in the catalytic performances. The presence of electron‐withdrawing nitro groups on the chelate ligands increased the catalytic activity which reached 36 kgpolymer mol−1 h−1, the highest value up to now reported for copper systems in methacrylic or acrylic monomer polymerization. These performances were ascribed to copper catalysts activated by MAO: without copper precursor, working in the presence of MAO and free salicylaldimine ligand, complete inactivity was ascertained. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: copper catalysts; methylaluminoxane; n‐butyl methacrylate (BMA); organometallic catalysts; polymerization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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