Binuclear Schiff-base zinc(II) complexes: Synthesis, crystal structures and reactivity toward ring opening polymerization of rac-lactide

Abstract : Upon crystallization from DMF/diethyl ether or CH 2 Cl 2 /pyridine of tetracoordinated Zn(II) complexes containing either 4-fluorophenyl or 4-anisyl substituted O,N,O-tridentate Schiff base ligands and pyridine as auxiliary ligand, three new doubly phenoxide-bridged dimeric Zn(II) complexes were isolated and their catalytic properties for the ring opening polymerization (ROP) of rac-lactide were explored. The single-crystal XRD analysis allowed to corroborate the molecular structures of the binuclear complexes, showing that the pentacoordinated Zn(II) metal ion adopts a slightly distorted square pyramidal geometry. The basal plane Is formed by the O,N,O-donor set of the tridentate Schiff base ligand and a phenoxo bridging oxygen, while a pyridine or a DMF molecule is located at the apex of the pyramid. The binuclear complexes were employed as catalysts in the ROP of rac-lactide for polylactide (PLA) synthesis. Polymerization conditions such as reaction time, catalyst concentration and use of benzyl alcohol as cocatalyst were studied, as well as their influence on the conversion rate, average molecular weight and polydispersity of the obtained PLA. The catalyst substituted with fluorine was more reactive, but with a lower control on the molecular weight compared to the methoxy-substituted catalyst. On the other hand, the presence of pyridine as an auxiliary ligand generates an improvement in the polydispersity of PLA.
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D.M. González, J. Cisterna, I. Brito, T. Roisnel, J.-R. Hamon, et al.. Binuclear Schiff-base zinc(II) complexes: Synthesis, crystal structures and reactivity toward ring opening polymerization of rac-lactide. Polyhedron, Elsevier, 2019, 162, pp.91-99. ⟨10.1016/j.poly.2019.01.043⟩. ⟨hal-02051168⟩

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