Title: Understanding catalytic synergy in dinuclear polymerization catalysts for sustainable polymers

Authors (6): F. Fiorentini, W. T. Diment, A. C. Deacy, R. W. F. .Kerr, S. Faulkner, C. K. Williams

Themes: Circular Economy (2023)

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-40284-z

Citations: 17

Pub type: journal-article

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Issue: 1

License: [{"start"=>{"date-parts"=>[[2023, 8, 8]], "date-time"=>"2023-08-08T00:00:00Z", "timestamp"=>1691452800000}, "content-version"=>"tdm", "delay-in-days"=>0, "URL"=>"https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0"}, {"start"=>{"date-parts"=>[[2023, 8, 8]], "date-time"=>"2023-08-08T00:00:00Z", "timestamp"=>1691452800000}, "content-version"=>"vor", "delay-in-days"=>0, "URL"=>"https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0"}]

Publication date(s): 2023/08/08 (online)


Volume: 14 Issue: 1

Journal: Nature Communications

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-40284-z

AbstractUnderstanding the chemistry underpinning intermetallic synergy and the discovery of generally applicable structure-performances relationships are major challenges in catalysis. Additionally, high-performance catalysts using earth-abundant, non-toxic and inexpensive elements must be prioritised. Here, a series of heterodinuclear catalysts of the form Co(III)M(I/II), where M(I/II) = Na(I), K(I), Ca(II), Sr(II), Ba(II) are evaluated for three different polymerizations, by assessment of rate constants, turn over frequencies, polymer selectivity and control. This allows for comparisons of performances both within and between catalysts containing Group I and II metals for CO2/propene oxide ring-opening copolymerization (ROCOP), propene oxide/phthalic anhydride ROCOP and lactide ring-opening polymerization (ROP). The data reveal new structure-performance correlations that apply across all the different polymerizations: catalysts featuring s-block metals of lower Lewis acidity show higher rates and selectivity. The epoxide/heterocumulene ROCOPs both show exponential activity increases (vs. Lewis acidity, measured by the pKa of [M(OH2)m]n+), whilst the lactide ROP activity and CO2/epoxide selectivity show linear increases. Such clear structure-activity/selectivity correlations are very unusual, yet are fully rationalised by the polymerization mechanisms and the chemistry of the catalytic intermediates. The general applicability across three different polymerizations is significant for future exploitation of catalytic synergy and provides a framework to improve other catalysts.

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41467_2023_40284_MOESM1_ESM.pdf Supl. Information Understanding Catalytic Synergy in Dinuclear Polymeriz... 2023
41467_2023_40284_MOESM2_ESM.pdf Peer Review File Understanding Catalytic Synergy in Dinuclear Polymeriza... 2023