A series of iron and cobalt complexes ligated with different bis(imino)pyridyl ligands were synthesized and used in ethylene polymerization. The reaction temperature and Al/Fe ratio had a great influence on the activities and properties of the polymer in the iron system when methylaluminoxane was used as the cocatalyst. Bimodal polyethylene, unimodal polyethylene, and oligomers were achieved with ethylene polymerization according to the structures of the ligands and polymerization conditions. The cobalt systems showed low activities when bis(imino)pyridyl was used as the ligand in comparison with the iron system catalysts. Ethylene oligomerization was conducted, and the main products were 1-butylene and 1-hexene. A fast deactivation process was observed from the curve of the polymerization kinetics. The polymerization mechanism was examined. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009
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