A new amine bis(phenolate) ligand bearing a THF donor on a sidearm and several dialkyl complexes of the group IV triad are introduced. The crystal structures of a zirconium dibenzyl complex and a titanium dibenzyl complex were solved, and revealed a strong binding of the oxygen donor of the THF group to the metal center. Upon activation with tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane the zirconium and the hafnium dibenzyl complexes lead to highly active 1-hexene polymerization catalysts. In comparison, titanium complexes (a dibenzyl complex and a dimethyl complex) lead to slower but living polymerization of 1-hexene at room temperature. Polymerization of neat 1-hexene under high dilution conditions was found to be living for an exceptionally long time of 6 days, leading to poly(1-hexene) of Mw=816 000 and PDI=1.09. A block copolymerization of 1-hexene and 1-octene at room temperature could be obtained using the titanium catalysts.
- Living polymerization