Copolymerization of CO2 and epoxides catalyzed by metal salen complexes. Academic Article uri icon


  • The design of efficient metal catalysts for the selective coupling of epoxides and carbon dioxide to afford completely alternating copolymers has made significant gains over the past decade. Hence, it is becoming increasingly clear that this "greener" route to polycarbonates has the potential to supplement or supplant current processes for the production of these important thermoplastics, which involve the condensation polymerization of diols and phosgene or organic carbonates. On the basis of the experiences in our laboratory, this Account summarizes our efforts at optimizing (salen)CrIIIX catalysts for the selective formation of polycarbonates from alicyclic and aliphatic epoxides with CO2. An iterative catalyst design process is employed in which the salen ligand, initiator, cocatalyst, and reaction conditions are systematically varied, with the reaction rates and product selectivity being monitored by in situ infrared spectroscopy.

published proceedings

  • Acc Chem Res

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Darensbourg, D. J., Mackiewicz, R. M., Phelps, A. L., & Billodeaux, D. R.

citation count

  • 419

complete list of authors

  • Darensbourg, Donald J||Mackiewicz, Ryan M||Phelps, Andrea L||Billodeaux, Damon R

publication date

  • November 2004