Aluminium(III) and Zinc(II) complexes of azobenzene-containing ligands for ring- opening polymerisation of e-caprolactone and rac-lactide

Sandeep Kaler, Paul McKeown, Benjamin Ward, Matthew Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability to control the outcome of polymerisations using an external stimulus remains a formidable challenge. Herein, we report a series of photoactive Schiff base ligands bearing azobenzene moieties, as well as seven Al(III) and Zn(II) complexes. Trans-cis isomerisation of the ligands and complexes occurred by exposure to UV light. Photoisomerisation was investigated using spectroscopic techniques and real-time reaction monitoring was conducted using FlowNMR. The activity of the complexes was tested in ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of ε-caprolactone and rac-lactide under ambient and UV light conditions, with the isomers of the Al(III) complexes displaying marked differences in activity in the ROP of ε-caprolactone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-719
JournalInorganic Chemistry Frontiers
Issue number3
Early online date23 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2021

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