Microgels as new support materials for heterogeneous cocatalysts in ethylene polymerization reactions



Microgels are monodisperse poly(organosiloxane) microparticles that can be functionalized at their surface. These materials were tested as supports for heterogeneous cocatalysts of the methylaluminoxane type and were used for the polymerizations of olefins with transition-metal catalysts. The cocatalysts were synthesized directly on the surfaces of the microgel particles by the partial hydrolysis of trimethylaluminum and were then used for the activation of homogeneous catalyst precursors. Complexes of various chemical natures were successfully activated and optimized through variations in the Al/H2O ratio used for the synthesis. Metallocene dichloride complexes and coordination compounds of iron and nickel were tested as catalysts for ethylene polymerization, and the results were compared with the results for the homogeneous systems and heterogeneous systems supported on silica gel (SiO2). © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 86: 3021–3029, 2002