Research objectives and content
The production of olefins is a giant industry. The first plant (Exxon, USA, 1991 ) using cyclopentadienyl-metal catalysts opened a new chapter in the plastics industry. Homogeneous catalysis, using cyclopentadienyl-based Ti or Zr complexes, is now important in polymer technology. Few alternatives to cyclopentadienyl ligand types have generated active catalysts.
We shall build on recent work (Lappert, et al. ) on the synthesis of lithium compounds of the new dianionic ligands (1)2-, (2)2- and (3)2- (see 1.2); which will be used as novel spectator ligands in the context of titanium(IV), zirconium(IV), hafnium(IV) and lanthanide metal(III) chemistry to prepare and characterise novel complexes of types I-IV useful for (a)-olefin reactions.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The objective is to gain new experience, both scientific and cultural. In addition to my current knowledge of main group chemistry as applied to materials, I wish to acquire skills in molecular synthetic chemistry and in the application of novel compounds as polymerisation catalysts. The proposal has considerable novelty and will lead to publications and possibly patents.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Prof. Lappert has good relations with several companies including, Borax Europe Ltd., Dow Corning Ltd. (UK), FMC Corporation (UK) and BASF (UK and FRG) where I expect to spend time evaluating my catalysts.