Cobaltoporphyrin-Catalyzed CO 2 /Epoxide Copolymerization: Selectivity Control by Molecular Design

Carly E. Anderson, Sergei I. Vagin, Wei Xia, Hanpeng Jin, Bernhard Rieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


A series of cobalt(III) chloride porphyrin complexes of the general formula 5,10,15,20-tetra(p-alkoxy)phenylporphyrin cobalt chloride (4b-e) and the related 5,10,15,20-tetra(p-nitro)phenylporphyrin cobalt chloride (4f) are presented and their reactivity toward propylene oxide (PO)/CO 2 coupling/copolymerization is explored. While the nitro-substituted complex (4f), in conjunction with an onium salt, shows moderate activity toward cyclization, the 4b-e/onium systems show superior copolymerization activity in comparison to tetraphenylporphyrin Co(III) chloride (4a) with high selectivity and conversion to poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC). A comprehensive copolymerization behavior study of the alkoxy-substituted porphyrin complexes 4b-e in terms of reaction temperature and CO 2 pressure is presented. Complexes bearing longer alkoxy-substituents demonstrate the highest polymerization activity and molecular weights, however all substituted catalyst systems display a reduced tolerance to increased temperature with respect to PPC formation. Studies of the resulting polymer microstructures show excellent head-to-tail epoxide incorporation and near perfectly alternating poly(carbonate) character at lower polymerization temperatures. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6840-6849
Number of pages10
Issue number17
StatePublished - Aug 21 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): UK-C0020, KSA-C0069
Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Award No. UK-C0020, KSA-C0069, for financial support. Ms. A. Jonovic is thanked for technical support with TGA and GPC measurements. Mr. V. Bretzler is acknowledged for helpful comments with the preparation of this manuscript.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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