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Lactide polymerization using a sterically encumbered, flexible zinc complex

Fatemeh Dordahan,
Published: 24 November 2021

Abstract: 4-(tert-Butyl)-2-trityl-6-(di-(2-picolyl)amine)phenol, LH, was prepared from paraformaldehyde, 4-(tert-butyl)-2-tritylphenol and di-(2-picolyl)amine. Reaction with Zn(N(SiMe3)2)2 gave LZnN(SiMe3)2. The complex was shown by X-ray diffraction study, variable temperature NMR and DFT calculations to coordinate only one pyridine ligand, which allows for fast and facile complex isomerisation. LZnN(SiMe3)2 was active in rac-lactide polymerization, but in contrast to previous complexes of this type did not show any evidence for isotactic monomer enchainment via a catalytic-site mediated chain-end control mechanism. Addition of alcohol led to increased activity, but the complex was unstable in the presence of free alcohol.
Keywords: tert butyl / Lactide polymerization / alcohol / amine / picolyl / SiMe3

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