Bi- and tri-dentate imino-based iron and cobalt pre-catalysts for ethylene oligo-/polymerization

Recent progress on the use of iron and cobalt complex pre-catalysts for ethylene reactivity is reviewed. The review is organized in terms of the denticity of the chelate ligands employed, with particular reference to the influence of the ligand frameworks and their substituents on the catalytic performance for ethylene oligomerization/polymerization catalysis. The majority of the systems bear tri-dentate ligation at the iron/cobalt centre, though it is clear that bi-dentate iron/cobalt complex pre-catalysts have also attracted significant attention. Such systems produce in most cases highly linear products ranging from oligomeric α-olefins to high molecular weight polyethylene, and as such are promising candidates for both academic and industrial considerations.