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Recent advances in homogeneous chromium catalyst design for ethylene tri-, tetra-, oligo- and polymerization

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-04-12, 12:04 authored by C Bariashir, C Huang, GA Solan, WH Sun
This review focuses on recent progress made using well-defined molecular chromium complexes that, upon suitable activation, can catalyze the tri-, tetra, oligo- and/or polymerization of ethylene. In particular, emphasis will be placed on the tuning of the performance characteristics of these homogeneous catalysts through structural modifications made to the multidentate ligand manifold (e.g., donor atoms, charge, backbone and strain) and the effects these changes have on the resulting ethylene derivatives. While the ability of these catalysts to mediate the formation of high molecular weight linear polyethylene continues to see many developments, their capacity to form polyethylene waxes and oligomers has witnessed some major advances. Moreover, the impressive selectivity of some chromium systems to generate commercially important 1-hexene and more recently 1-octene has seen the implementation of this technology at the industrial level. The types of precatalysts to be discussed will be divided broadly on the basis of their ability to generate either polymers/oligomers or short chain α-olefins; the effects of co-catalyst and reaction conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, solvent) on catalytic activity and selectivity, will be also developed. In addition, current proposals as to the mechanistic details displayed by these versatile chromium catalysts will be highlighted.


This work supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21871275). CB is grateful to the CAS-TWAS President’s fellowship. GAS thanks the Chinese Academy of Sciences for a President’s International Fellowship for Visiting Scientists.



Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 2019, 385, pp. 208-229

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Chemistry


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