The use of Cu and Zn salicylaldimine complexes as catalyst precursors in ring opening polymerization of lactides: Ligand effects on polymer characteristics

Suraj Bhunora, Jane Mugo, Archana Bhaw-Luximon, Selwyn Mapolie, Juanita Van Wyk, James Darkwa, Ebbe Nordlander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A range of monomeric tetra-coordinate copper (II) and zinc (II) complexes based on N,O-bidentate salicylaldimine Schiff base ligands has been synthesized and characterized using various spectroscopic techniques. These complexes were then evaluated as initiators in ring-opening polymerization of lactides at both 70 °C and 110 °C. The effect of structural changes in the complexes on the ability of these compounds to initiate lactide polymerization as well as the impact on the chemical and physical characteristics of the polymers obtained indicate that the coordination geometry of the metal complex, M-O bond length and substituents on the Schiff base ligand all play a role in the catalyst activity. Electronic factors were dominant in the case of the copper complexes while steric factors prevailed in the case of Zn initiators. Both the Zn and Cu complexes exhibit characteristics of living ring opening polymerization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Organometallic Chemistry
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

Keywords

  • copper Schiff base complexes
  • lactide polymerization
  • ring-opening polymerization
  • salicylaldimine complexes
  • zinc Schiff base complexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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