Polymer Chemistry, 2nd ed
- P. C. Hiemenz, T. P. Lodge
Nickel complexes bearing amine-imine ligands with various backbone substituents were synthesized and employed as ethylene polymerization catalysts on activation with Et2 AlCl. The substituent on the backbone carbon atom of the amine moiety is decisive for the living nature of ethylene polymerization. A bulky amine-imine nickel precursor with a tert-butyl group on the carbon atom of the amine group can polymerize ethylene in a living fashion at an elevated temperature of 65 °C, which is the highest temperature of living polymerization of ethylene with late transition-metal catalysts. The wide applicable temperature range for living polymerization and sensitivity of the branch structure of the polyethylene to temperature enable precise synthesis of di- and triblock polyethylenes featuring different branched segments by sequential tuning of the polymerization temperature.