This article reviews the surface science of the heterogeneous olefin polymerization catalysts. The specific focus is on how to prepare and characterize stereochemically specific heterogeneous model catalysts for the Ziegler-Natta polymerization. Under clean, ultra-high vacuum conditions, low-energy electron irradiation during the chemical vapor deposition of model Ziegler-Natta catalysts can be used to create a "single-site" catalyst film with a surface structure that produces only isotactic polypropylene. The polymerization activities of the ultra-high vacuum-prepared model heterogeneous catalysts compare well with those of conventional Ziegler-Natta catalysts. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic analyses identify the oxidation states of the Ti ions at the active sites. Temperature-programmed desorption distinguishes the binding strength of a probe molecule to the active sites that produce polypropylenes having different tacticities. These findings demonstrate that a surface science approach to the preparation and characterization of model heterogeneous catalysts can improve the catalyst design and provide fundamental understanding of the single-site olefin polymerization process.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Oct 17 2006|
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