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Synthesis of Nickel Catalyst for use in Polymerization Reactions

Hurlock, Matthew J.
It is undeniable the effect that plastics have had on the world and polymerization reactions make this all possible. Polymerization reactions are some of the most useful reactions conducted today. A polymerization reaction is a process that takes many small molecules and combines them into long repeating chains or branching networks called polymers. Such reactions are used commercially to synthesize many polymers used in the manufacturing of plastics. These reactions can be done through different methods, one of which is through the use of a catalyst. These catalysts reduced the energy and temperatures required to make polymers and can increase the speed of synthesis. The types of catalysts generally used for polymerization reaction contain metals which is a huge source of their catalytic abilities. These metals tend to be Titanium and Vanadium, which have high costs. Additional functional groups can change the reactivity of the compounds. Understanding and controlling catalyst reactivity is very important. My research focused on the synthesis of Nickel containing catalyst compounds with fluoroalkylphosphine groups. The synthesis of the catalyst has proved to be the most challenging step. I have synthesized the desired nickel compound and currently in the process of conducting the reaction to add the fluoroalkylphosphine groups to it. If this can be achieved then I will test the reactivity of the compounds and its usefulness in polymerization reactions.
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