First experimental evidence for a bis-ethene chromium(I) complex forming from an activated ethene oligomerization catalyst

Sonia Chabbra, D. M. Smith, Nicola Louise Bell, Allan John Bell Watson, Michael Buehl, David John Cole-Hamilton, Bela Ernest Bode*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A bis-ethene chromium(I) species, which is the postulated key intermediate in the widely accepted metallacyclic mechanism for ethene oligomerization, is experimentally observed. This catalytic transformation is an important commercial route to linear α-olefins (primarily, 1-hexene and 1-octene), which act as comonomers for the production of polyethene. Here, electron paramagnetic resonance studies of a catalytic system based on [Cr(CO)4(PNP)][Al(OC(CF3)3)4] [PNP = Ph2PN(iPr)PPh2] activated with Et6Al2 provide the first unequivocal evidence for a chromium(I) bis-ethene complex. The concentration of this species is enhanced under ethene and isotope labeling studies that confirm its composition as containing [Cr(C2H4)2(CO)2(PNP)]+. These observations open a new route to mechanistic studies of selective ethene oligomerization.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabd7057
Number of pages7
JournalScience Advances
Volume6
Issue number51
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2020

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