Chen, C.H., W.C. Shih, and C. Hilty, In Situ Determination of Tacticity, Deactivation, and Kinetics in [rac-(C2H4(1-Indenyl)2)ZrMe][B(C6F5)4] and [Cp2ZrMe][B(C6F5)4]-Catalyzed Polymerization of 1-Hexene Using (13)C Hyperpolarized NMR. J Am Chem Soc, 2015. 137(21): p. 6965-71.
The stereochemistry, kinetics, and mechanism of olefin polymerization catalyzed by a set of zirconium-based metallocenes was studied by NMR using dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP). Hyperpolarized 1-hexene was polymerized in situ with a C2 symmetric catalyst, [(EBI)ZrMe][B(C6F5)4] (EBI = rac-(C2H4(1-indenyl)2)), and a C2v symmetric catalyst, [(Cp)2ZrMe][B(C6F5)4] (Cp = cyclopentadienyl). Hyperpolarized (13)C NMR spectra were used to characterize product tacticity following initiation of the reaction. At the same time, a signal gain of 3 orders of magnitude from (13)C hyperpolarization enabled the real time observation of catalyst-polymeryl species and deactivation products, such as vinylidene and a Zr-allyl complex. The compounds appearing in the reaction provide evidence for the existence of beta-hydride elimination and formation of a dormant site via a methane-generating mechanism. The presence of a deactivating mechanism was incorporated in a model used to determine kinetic parameters of the reaction. On this basis, rate constants were measured between 0.8 and 6.7 mol % of catalyst. The concentration dependence of the rate constants obtained indicates a second-order process for polymerization concomitant with a first-order process for deactivation. The simultaneous observation of both processes in the time evolution of (13)C NMR signals over the course of several seconds underlines the utility of hyperpolarized NMR for quantifying early events in polymerization reactions.