(Salan)CrCl, An Effective Catalyst for the Copolymerization and Terpolymerization of Epoxides and Carbon Dioxide Academic Article uri icon


  • The selective transformation of CO2 and epoxides to afford completely alternating copolymers remains a topic of much interest for the potential utilization of carbon dioxide in chemical synthesis. The use of salicylaldimine (salen)-metal complexes and their saturated (salan)-metal versions have proven to be the most effective and robust single-site catalyst for these processes. Herein, we report on mechanistic aspects of the copolymerization of alicyclic and aliphatic epoxides with CO2 in toluene solution and in neat epoxides in the presence of a (salan)CrCl/onium salt catalyst system. The activation barriers for both cyclohexene oxide(CHO)/CO2 and propylene oxide(PO)/CO2 were shown to be significantly higher in toluene solution than those previously reported for reactions carried out under solventless conditions. Terpolymerization of CHO/vinylcyclohexene oxide/CO2 was shown via Fineman-Ross analysis at 60 C to proceed with little monomer selectivity, for example, r CHO = 1.03 and rVCHO = 0.847. On the other hand, terpolymerization of CHO/PO/CO2 occurred at 25 C with a propensity for incorporation of PO in the polymer. However, at 40 C, Fineman-Ross analysis revealed rCHO and rPO values of 0.869 and 1.49, thereby affording a terpolymer with a more equal distribution of monomers. 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Darensbourg, D. J., Poland, R. R., & Strickland, A. L.

citation count

  • 58

complete list of authors

  • Darensbourg, Donald J||Poland, Ross R||Strickland, Amanda L

publication date

  • January 2012