Ethylene oligomerization using iron complexes: beyond the discovery of bis(imino)pyridine ligands
Since the discovery that bis(imino)pyridine ligands are able to confer high activities in ethylene oligomerization and polymerization to their iron complexes, considerable attention has been focused on catalyst design for these reactions and this research constitutes an ever-growing area in molecular catalysis. The tuning of the ligand structures and properties, and thus of catalysts, generally represents the basis for subsequent work contributing to process development and industrialization. Significant effort is therefore devoted to generate structural diversity in order to access the required catalyst stability and selectivity. This feature article outlines nitrogen-containing ligands that have been developed for the iron-catalyzed oligomerization of ethylene since the seminal discovery of the properties of bis(imino)pyridine ligands.