Synthesis of highly reactive polyisobutylenes using solvent-ligated manganese(II) complexes as catalysts



Manganese complexes with benzonitrile ligands were synthesized, characterized, and applied for the preparation of the isobutylene polymerization. Low and medium molecular weight polyisobutylenes containing high amount of exo-type double bond end groups (70–80%) were successfully prepared using these manganese(II) complexes as catalysts at room temperature. The influence of monomer and catalyst concentration was intensively analyzed for achieving high monomer conversion and high exo double bond content of the products. Details on end group distribution in the products and development of the exo-type end group content with reaction time were evaluated by 1H NMR. The catalysts are also active for the homopolymerization of styrene and the copolymerization of isobutylene and styrene. The highly reactive polyisobutylene products obtained by these manganese complexes show features similar to products obtained by conventional cationic polymerization, but the polymerization characteristics clearly deviate. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 45: 5636–5648, 2007