2020 International conference on Catalysis and Polymer Chemistry
Prof. Wen-Hua Sun

Prof. Wen-Hua Sun


Prof. Wen-Hua Sun

Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences; The member of European Academy of Sciences.


Inquisition of Late Transition Metal Precatalysts for Ethylene Polymerization


Over past two decades, late transition metal complexes as precatalysts has been extensively studied for ethylene polymerization and oligomerization besides titanium,1 chromium2 and vanadium catalysts3. These types of homogeneous catalysts, pioneered by Brookhart4,5a and Gibson,5b have been attracted much attentions by the scientists from academic and industrial views across the world.6 Indeed, various important developments have been made in not only bench-top researches but also industrial scale-up processes. In addition to conventional polyethylene materials, new types of polyolefinic materials are accessible displaying unique properties and microstructures: highly linear polyethylenes using iron (and cobalt) precatalysts7,8 as well as highly branched polyethylenes using nickel.8,9 In fact, simple modifications or variations of the chelating ligands can have profound effects on performance which can manifest itself in higher efficiency and increased thermo-stability. Moreover, these technologies are scalable with linear and highly branched polyethylenes now produced on the pilot plant level. 

Targeting novel models of the catalysts, elegant organic strategies have been developed to produce a wide range of novel ligand frameworks.10 New multi-purpose ruthenium catalysts have been developed to facilitate the formation of such N-heteroatom-containing cyclic compounds; their use in the transformation of biomass into fine chemicals represents an additional spin-off application.11 Therefore the multi-dentate nitrogen ligands have based on the innovative investigation and could provide solutions of new catalysts for industrial consideration and application.


The work supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (No. 21871275 and 51861145303) and the Innovated Cultivation Project of ICCAS.


1)   Yuan, S.-F.; Yan, Y.; Solan, G. A.; Ma Y.; Sun, W.-H., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2020, 411, 213254.

2)   Bariashir, C.; Huang, C.; Solan. G. A.; Sun, W.-H., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2019, 385, 208–229.

3)   Phillips, A. M. F.; Suo, H.; da Silva, M. F. C. G.; Pombeiro A. J. L.; Sun, W.-H., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2020, 411, 213332.

4)   Johnson, L. K.; Killian, C. M.; Brookhart, M., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1995, 117, 6414.

5)   a) Small, B. L.; Brookhart, M.; Bennet, A.M. A., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1998, 120, 4049; b) Britovsek, G. J. P.; Gibson, V. C.; Kimberley, B. S.; Maddox, P. J.; McTavish, S. J.; Solan, G. A.; White, A. J. P.; Williams, D. J., Chem. Commun., 1998, 849.

6)   a) Gibson, V. C.; Redshaw, C.; Solan, G. A., Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 1745; b) Bianchini, C.; Giambastiani, G.; Rios, I. G.; Mantovani, G.; Meli, A.; Segarra, A. M., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2006, 250, 1391; c) Bianchini, C.; Giambastiani, G.; Luconi, L.; Meli, A., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2010, 254, 431.

7)   a) Wang, Z.; Solan, G. A.; Zhang, W.; Sun, W.-H., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2018, 363, 92; b) Flisak, Z.; Sun. W.-H., ACS Catal., 2015, 5, 4713.

8)   Suo, H.; Solan, G. A.; Ma, Y.; Sun, W.-H., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2018, 372, 101

9)   Wang, Z.; Liu, Q.; Solan, G. A.; Sun, W.-H., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2017, 350, 68.

10) Pan, B.; Liu, B.; Yue, E.; Liu, Q.; Yang, X.; Wang, Z.; Sun, W.-H., ACS Catal., 2016, 6, 1247.

11) Wang, Z.; Li, Y.; Liu, Q.; Solan, G. A.; Ma, Y.; Sun, W.-H., ChemCatChem, 2017, 9, 4275.

Research Area:

Polyolefin oriented organometallics; Developing polyolefin process; New donors for Ziegler-Natta catalysts; Coupling reaction; Fluorescent properties of metal complexes; Pilot process of ethylene oligo/poly-merization as well as industrial processes.

Research Experience:

Prof. Dr. Wen-Hua Sun heads a group of organometallic chemistry and catalysis at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences since October of 1999, nowadays has also been a chair professor in the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences from 2014. Received his B.Sc. in chemistry at Lanzhou University (1986) and Ph.D at Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics (LICP, 1989/1994). He worked in LICP as Associate Professor (1993) and Hokkaido University with JSPS, COE and JST. He was selected as Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (2011) and member of European Academy of Sciences (2017). His contributions have had international impacts across the areas of polymerization catalysts for conversional alpha-olefins and polyolefins, biodegradable polymers and bio-massive process as well as their intermediates and reaction mechanism.