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Issue 3, 2013
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Synthesis and rac-lactide ring-opening polymerisation studies of new alkaline earth tetrahydroborate complexes

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Abstract

Reaction of K[HC(C(Me)NAr′)2] (Ar′ = 2,6-C6H3iPr2) with Mg(BH4)2 afforded the pseudo four-coordinate tetrahydroborate complex Mg{HC(C(Me)NAr′)2}(BH4)(THF) (1). The corresponding reaction of Ca(BH4)2(THF)2 or Sr(BH4)2(THF)2 gave the pseudo five-coordinate analogues M{HC(C(Me)NAr′)2}(BH4)(THF)2 (M = Ca (2) or Sr (3)). All three compounds 1–3 have been structurally characterised. According to X-ray crystallography and IR spectroscopy all possess κ3-bound BH4 ligands in the solid state. This coordination mode is also maintained in THF solution for 2 and 3, whereas complex 1 appears to form a bis(THF) complex containing a κ2-bound BH4. Reaction of 1 with K[HC(P(Ph2)NAr′)2](THF)2 formed Mg{HC(P(Ph2)NAr′)2}(BH4)(THF)2 (4) possessing a κ3-bound BH4 ligand in both the solid state and solution. Compounds 1, 2 and 4 are highly active for the ring-opening polymerisation of ε-caprolactone forming dihydroxytelechelic PCL. Compound 1 is also extremely active for the ROP of rac-lactide forming highly heterotactic PLA with good agreement between predicted and measured Mn, in accord with previous studies of alkoxide and amide initiators based on this metal and ligand class. Compounds 2 and 4 were less productive and gave PLA with poorer control of Mn and negligible heterotactic enrichment. MALDI-ToF MS analysis of the PLA formed with all three catalysts showed a mixture of both –CH(Me)CHO and –CH(Me)CH2OH termini arising from the M–BH4 initiating groups.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis and rac-lactide ring-opening polymerisation studies of new alkaline earth tetrahydroborate complexes

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Sep 2012, accepted on 22 Oct 2012 and first published on 23 Oct 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2DT32151C
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2013,42, 759-769
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    Synthesis and rac-lactide ring-opening polymerisation studies of new alkaline earth tetrahydroborate complexes

    R. A. Collins, J. Unruangsri and P. Mountford, Dalton Trans., 2013, 42, 759
    DOI: 10.1039/C2DT32151C

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