Olefin Polymerization

Homogeneous, single-site metallocene/methylalumoxane systems ("Metallocene catalysts") were of high academic and industrial interest as a new generation of Ziegler-Natta catalysts for the polymerization of olefins. The single-site character of the active species enables the syntheses of polymers with narrow molar mass, comonomer and tacticity distribution as industrially important features. Through a rational substitution pattern at the cyclopentadienyl ligands metallocene (mostly) zirconocene) catalysts allow for an unprecedented control and variation of the tacticity in olefin polymerization. Furthermore, metallocene catalysts made the polymerization of cyclic olefins without ring opening possible.

Furthermore, the use of zirconocene catalysts for the oligomerization of olefins was investigated. The olefin oligomers which were obtained from propene and 1-hexene monomers were analyzed with respect to molar mass, molar mass ditribution and double-bond end group.

Our work also includes the transition-metal catalyzed vinyl or addition polymerization of norbornene to polynorbornene. Metal catalysts of Ni and Pd with methylalumoxane (MAO) or perfluorinated borane, e.g., B(C6F5)3 cocatalysts were studied in terms of their activity and ligand effects.

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