New aluminium-alkali metal heterometallic compounds using the bulky ligand OAr = 2,6-bis(diphenylmethyl)-4-tert-butylphenoxide have been synthesized and characterized. The species obtained, [MAlMe3(OAr)] (M = Li(2a), Na(2b), K(2c)) and [MAlMe2(OAr)2] (M = Li(3a), Na(3b), K(3c)), include some of the few heterobimetallic examples of aluminate complexes with O-donor ligands described so far. Their activity in polymerization towards a difunctional monomer, such as Glycidyl Methacrylate (GMA), was evaluated. The compounds were revealed to be able to polymerize the acrylate groups via vinyl polymerization. Interestingly, the homometallic counterparts [AlXMe(OAr)] (X = Cl, Me), previously described by us, are very active in ROP processes of GMA. The combined polymerization process using both catalysts has also been explored to obtain a polymeric material with an exciting macromolecular architecture.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Inorganic chemistry of the p-block elements