Copolymerization of propylene and cyclopentene (CPE) was carried out using as a catalyst isospecific rac-ethylenebis(indenyl)zirconium dichloride (1), rac-dimethylsilylenebis(indenyl)zirconium dichloride (2), rac-dimethylsilylenebis(2-methylindenyl)zirconium dichloride (3), or syndiospecific diphenylmethylene(cyclopentadienyl)(9-fluorenyl)zirconium dichloride (4) with methylaluminoxane as a cocatalyst. Isospecific zirconocene catalysts 1-3 produced copolymers having narrow molecular weight distribution, while syndiospecific catalyst 4 effected propylene homopolymerization. Microstructures of the copolymers were studied by 13C NMR and distortionless enhancement of polarization transfer (DEPT) spectroscopy. CPE was found to be incorporated in the copolymer preferentially via 1,2-insertion mechanism in the copolymerization with the catalyst 3. The catalyst 1 and 2 gave copolymers containing CPE units formed by either 1,2-insertion or 1,3-insertion mechanism. The proportion of 1,3-insertion units increased with increasing CPE content in the copolymers. The isomerization reaction from 1,2-insertion to 1,3-insertion CPE units was discussed on the basis of kinetic parameters.
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