Cobalt-Based Complexes for the Copolymerization of Propylene Oxide and CO2: Active and Selective Catalysts for Polycarbonate Synthesis


  • G.W.C. gratefully acknowledges a Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering and an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award, as well as funding from the NSF (CHE-0243605) and the Cornell Center for Materials Research, supported through the NSF MRSEC program (DMR-0079992).


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CO2is an ideal feedstock for chemical synthesis; unfortunately its thermodynamic stability is a barrier to widespread use. Active cobalt catalysts for the copolymerization of propylene oxide and CO2 are reported (see scheme; L=N,N′-bis(3,5-di-tert-butylsalicylidene)-1,2-cyclohexanediamine), which have excellent regioselectivity for polycarbonate synthesis without concomitant production of cyclic carbonate by-products.