Activation of Single-Component Nickel(II) Polyethylene Catalysts via Phase Transfer of Fluorous Phosphine Ligands.
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The nickel salicylaldiminato phosphine complexes [1,2,3-C6H3(9-anthracenyl)O(CHN(2,6-C6H3(iPr)2)]Ni(Me)[P(4-C6H4R)3] (4; R = a, (CH2)2Rf8; b, (CH2)3Rf8; c, H (Rf8 = (CF2)7CF3)) are prepared from the corresponding phosphines 3a-c and nickel NCMe adduct (46-68%). These are applied as catalysts for ethylene polymerization in toluene and fluorous/toluene liquid/liquid biphasic mixtures. Under the latter conditions, the fluorous phosphines 3a,b that must dissociate to generate the active catalyst migrate to the fluorous phase (partition coefficients 97.5:2.5 and 66.6:33.4 vs <0.5:>99.5 for 4a,b). Catalysts 4a,b show marked accelerations under biphasic conditions, but 4c (which has a lipophilic phosphine ligand) does not. Under all conditions, 4a,b are faster catalysts than the Ni(Ph)(PPh3) analogue, a previously reported benchmark.