Polymetallic Group 4 Complexes: Catalysts for the Ring Opening Polymerisation of rac-Lactide

David T. Jenkins, Eszter Fazekas, Samuel B. H. Patterson, Georgina M. Rosair, Filipe Vilela, Ruaraidh D. McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
126 Downloads (Pure)


Five novel air- and moisture-stable polymetallic Ti and Zr amino acid-derived amine bis(phenolate) (ABP) complexes were synthesised and fully characterised, including X-ray crystallographic studies. The reaction of the ABP proligands with Ti or Zr alkoxides has resulted in the formation of polymetallic aggregates of different nuclearity. The steric bulk on the pendant arm of the ligand was found to play a critical role in establishing the nuclearity of the aggregated complex. Sterically, less-demanding groups, such as H or Me, facilitated the formation of tetrametallic Ti clusters, bridged by carboxylate groups, while increased steric bulk (tBu) led to the formation of binuclear μ-oxo-bridged species. The isolated complexes were employed as catalysts for the ring opening polymerisation (ROP) of rac-lactide. Overall, the Ti catalysts were all active with the smaller, bimetallic Ti aggregates exhibiting relatively faster rates. A monometallic, bis(ABP) Zr complex was found to exert remarkable ROP activity, albeit with limited control over the tacticity and molecular weight distribution of the polymer. A further oxo-bridged Zr cluster was shown to display a previously unprecedented trimetallic structure and achieved a moderate rate in the ROP of rac-lactide.
Original languageEnglish
Article number551
Issue number5
Early online date27 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Amine bis(phenolate) ABP
  • Catalysis
  • Homogenous
  • Lactide
  • Poly-metallic
  • ROP
  • Titanium
  • Zirconium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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