Synthesis and characterization of 2-(2-benzhydrylnaphthyliminomethyl)pyridylnickel halides: formation of branched polyethylene†
A series of 2-(2-benzhydrylnaphthyliminomethyl)pyridine derivatives (L1–L3) was prepared and used to synthesize the corresponding bis-ligated nickel(II) halide complexes (Ni1–Ni6) in good yield. The molecular structures of representative complexes, namely the bromide Ni3 and the chloride complex Ni6, were confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction, and revealed a distorted octahedral geometry at nickel. Upon activation with either methylaluminoxane (MAO) or modified methylaluminoxane (MMAO), all nickel complex pre-catalysts exhibited high activities (up to 2.02 × 107 g(PE) mol−1(Ni) h−1) towards ethylene polymerization, producing branched polyethylene of low molecular weight and narrow polydispersity. The influence of the reaction parameters and the nature of the ligands on the catalytic behavior of the title nickel complexes were investigated.