This is a literature assignment for a junior/senior level course. Guiding questions are provided to assist students with reading the article so that they see the value and importance of developing catalysts for polymerization reactions. This assignment is based upon the article
Redox-Controlled Polymerization of Lactide Catalyzed by Bis(imino)pyridine Iron Bis(alkoxide) Complexes
Ashley B. Biernesser, Bo Li, and Jeffery A. Byers
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2013 135 (44), 16553-16560
After completing this exercise, students should be able to:
Define basic terms used to describe polymerization reactions;
Differentiate between living polymerizations and other types of polymerization reactions;
Describe why the polymerization of lactic acid is important;
Explain how the bis(imino)pyridyl iron complex catalyzes the polymerization reaction;
Contrast characteristics of NMR spectra for paramagnetic complexes to those of typical diamagnetic complexes;
Explain how the evidence presented in the article supports the suggested mechanism;
- Describe how the oxidation state of the iron center is critical for catalytic activity.
I plan to implement this during my junior/senior level inorganic course this semester. I will assign the questions and article to the students before lecture. The students will work in groups of about 4 to answer the questions before coming to class. We then will have an active discussion about the article and the questions. I will use this to help the students to start to build guiding questions for an article they are interested in studying more.