Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Sep 4;24(17):13645. doi: 10.3390/ijms241713645.
For covalent attachment-supported α-diimine catalysts, on the basis of ensuring the thermal stability and activity of the catalysts, the important problem is that the active group on the catalyst can quickly react with the support, anchoring it firmly on the support, shortening the loading time, reducing the negative impact of the support on the active centers, and further improving the polymer morphology, which makes them suitable for use in industrial polymerization temperatures. Herein, we synthesized a α-diimine nickel(II) catalyst bearing four hydroxyl substituents. The hydroxyl substituents enable the catalyst to be immobilized firmly on silica support by covalent linkage in 5-10 min. Compared with the toluene solvent system, the homogeneous catalysts show high activity and thermal stability in hexane solvent at the same conditions. Compared with homogeneous catalysts, heterogeneous catalysis leads to improvements in catalyst lifetime, polymer morphology control, catalytic activity, and the molecular weight of polyethylene (up to 679 kg/mol). The silica-supported catalysts resulted in higher melting temperatures as well as lower branching densities in polyethylenes. Even at 70 °C, the polyethylene prepared by S-CatA-2 still exhibits dispersed particle morphology, and there is no phenomenon of reactor fouling, which is suitable for industrial polymerization processes.