Carbon-bridged bis(phenolato)lanthanide alkoxides: Syntheses, structures, and their application in the controlled polymerization of ε-caprolactone

Yingming Yao, Xiaoping Xu, Bao Liu, Yong Zhang, Qi Shen, Wing Tak Wong

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85 Citations (Scopus)


A convenient method for the synthesis of lanthanide alkoxo complexes supported by a carbon-bridged bis(phenolate) ligand 2,2′-methylenebis(6- tert-butyl-4-methylphenoxo) (MBMP2-) is described. The reaction of (C5H5)3Nd with MBMPH2 in a 1:1 molar ratio in THF gave the bis(phenolato)lanthanide complex (C5H 5)Nd(MBMP)(THF)2 (1) in a nearly quantitative yield. Complex 1 further reacted with 1 equiv of 2-propanol in THF to yield the bis(phenolato)-lanthanide isopropoxide [(MBMP)2Nd(μ-Opr i)(THF)2]2 (2) in high yield. Complex 2 can also be synthesized by the direct reaction of (C5H5) 3Nd with MBMPH2 in a 1:1 molar ratio and then with 1 equiv of 2-propanol in situ in THF. Thus, the analogue bis(phenolato)lanthanide alkoxides [(MBMP)2Ln(μ-OR)(THF)2]2 [R = Pri, Ln = Yb (3); R = Me, Ln = Nd (4), Yb (5); R = CH2Ph, Ln = Nd (6), Yb (7)] were obtained by the reactions of (C5H 5)3Ln (Ln = Nd, Yb) with MBMPH2 and then with 2-propanol, methanol, or benzyl alcohol, respectively. The ytterbium complex {[(MBMP)2Yb(THF)2]2(μ-OCH 2Ph)(μ-OH)} (8) was also isolated as a byproduct. The single-crystal structural analyses of complexes 1-3 and 8 revealed that the coordination geometry around lanthanide metal can be best described as a distorted tetrahedron in complex 1 and as a distorted octahedron in complexes 2, 3, and 8. A O-H⋯Yb agostic interaction was observed in complex 8. Complexes 2-7 were shown to be efficient catalysts for the controlled polymerization of ε-caprolactone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5133-5140
Number of pages8
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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