Performance of various activators in ethylene polymerization based on an iron(II) catalyst system



Ethylisobutylaluminoxane (EBAO) and its analogues were synthesized by a reaction between an triethylaluminum (Et3Al)/triisobutylaluminum (i-Bu3Al) mixture and 4-fluorobenzeneboronic acid, phenylboronic acid, or n-butaneboronic acid and subsequent hydrolysis with water. They were used as cocatalysts in ethylene polymerization catalyzed by an iron complex {[(ArN[DOUBLE BOND]C(Me))2C5H3N]FeCl2, where Ar is 2,6-diisopropylphenyl}. Polyethylene with a high molecular weight and a narrow molecular weight distribution was prepared with modified EBAOs, and the performance of the iron complex at high polymerization temperatures was greatly improved. The activators for the iron complex also affected the polymerization activity and the molecular weight of the resultant polyethylene. It was suggested that the stereo and electronic effects of the substitute groups of aluminoxane contributed to the improved performance of the new activators. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 42: 1093–1099, 2004