Emerging Frontiers in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Emerging Frontiers in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

mask Maurice Brookhart

Maurice Brookhart


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

Professor Department of Chemistry

University of Houston, USA


Pd(II) and Ni(II) Catalysts for Copolymerization of Ethylene and Polar Vinyl Monomers

Efficient transition metal-catalyzed copolymerization of ethylene with polar vinyl monomers represents a major challenge in the field of polymer chemistry. Numerous academic and industrial groups have sought solutions to this problem using late metal catalysts known to be more functional group tolerant than highly electrophilic early metal catalysts.

However, despite years of effort, little progress has been made in developing highly active, productive systems. This talk will focus on describing the barriers to such copolymerizations as well as reporting the successful development of Pd(II) and Ni(II) systems for copolymerization of ethylene with vinyltrialkoxysilanes. These copolymers(made by alternative routes) are crosslinkable and used to produce PEX-b, a material used for piping and wire coatings. Detailed mechanistic studies will be highlighted in this presentation.


Maurice Brookhart was born in 1942 and grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland.

He received his BA degree in 1964 from Johns Hopkins University and his PhD degree in organic chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1968. Following a NATO postdoctoral appointment at the University of Southampton, he joined the chemistry faculty of the University of North Carolina. After retiring from UNC in 2014 he joined the Chemistry Department at the University of Houston in 2015. Over his career, Brookhart’s research efforts have focused primarily on fundamental investigations of the mechanisms of reactions of organometallic complexes. Recent work has involved invention of new late transition metal catalysts for polymerization of olefins to produce unique polymers and development of metal catalysts to activate carbon-hydrogen bonds as a means of modifying simple hydrocarbons derived from natural gas and petroleum to produce value-added materials.

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