H. Yasuda, R. Nakano, S. Ito, K. Nozaki*
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 1876–1883. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b12593
Abstract: Coordination–insertion copolymerization of ethylene with 1,1-disubstituted ethylenes bearing a polar functional group, such as methyl methacrylate (MMA), is a long-standing challenge in catalytic polymerization. The major obstacle for this process is the huge difference in reactivity of ethylene versus 1,1-disubstituted ethylenes towards both coordination and insertion. Herein we report the copolymerization of ethylene and 1,1-disubstituted ethylenes by using an imidazo[1,5-a]quinolin-9-olate-1-ylidene (IzQO)-supported palladium catalyst. Various types of 1,1-disubstituted ethylenes were successfully incorporated into the polyethylene chain. In-depth characterization of the obtained copolymers and mechanistic inferences drawn from stoichiometric reactions of alkylpalladium complexes with methyl methacrylate and ethylene indicate that the copolymerization proceeds by the same coordination–insertion mechanism that has been postulated for ethylene.