Supporting Data for “Why So Slow? Mechanistic Insights from Studies of a Poor Catalyst for Polymerization of ε-Caprolactone”

  • Chris Cramer (Creator)
  • Mukunda Mandal (Creator)
  • Lauren A Mitchell (Creator)
  • Benjamin D Neisen (Creator)
  • Daniel E Stasiw (Creator)
  • William Tolman (Creator)



These files contain data along with associated output from instrumentation supporting all results reported in Stasiw, D. E.; Mandal, M.; Neisen, B. D.; Mitchell, L. A.; Cramer, C. J.; Tolman, W. B. Why so slow? Mechanistic insights from studies of a poor catalyst for polymerization of ε-caprolactone. Inorg. Chem., 2016, 56, 725–728. Polymerization of ε-caprolactone (CL) using an aluminum alkoxide catalyst (1) designed to prevent unproductive trans binding was monitored at 110 °C in toluene-d8 by 1H NMR and the concentration versus time data fit to a first-order rate expression. A comparison of t1/2 for 1 to values for many other aluminum alkyl and alkoxide complexes shows much lower activity of 1 toward polymerization of CL. Density functional theory calculations were used to understand the basis for the slow kinetics. The optimized geometry of the ligand framework of 1 was found indeed to make CL trans binding difficult: no trans-bound intermediate could be identified as a local minimum. Nor were local minima for cis-bound precomplexes found, suggesting a concerted coordination–insertion for polymer initiation and propagation. The sluggish performance of 1 is attributed to a high-framework distortion energy required to deform the “resting” ligand geometry to that providing optimal catalysis in the corresponding transition-state structure geometry, thus suggesting a need to incorporate ligand flexibility in the design of efficient polymerization catalysts..

Corresponding author for experimental data is William B. Tolman (

Corresponding author for computational data is Christopher J. Cramer (
Date made available2017
PublisherData Repository for the University of Minnesota

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