Metallocene and Metal-carbene based Organometallic Compounds as Industrially Important Advanced Polyolefin Catalysts

By Prof. Sanjib K. Patra   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 54
Among the various organometallic catalysts, metallocene and metal-carbene based catalysts have rapidly been developed for industrial use in olefin polymerization in the last two decades. The unique design, structural parameters and symmetry of metallocene catalysts afford exceptional activity in α-olefin polymerization in presence of activator to produce high molecular weight polyolefin where stereoregularity/microstructure can be finely controlled to meet the targeted applications. In parallel, the transition metal carbene/alkylidene complexes with M=C bond have attracted chemists and industries as living alkene metathesis polymerization catalysts. In this course, the main focus will be to address the understanding the concept, designing principle of catalysts, reactions mechanism and developing pathways of these type of popular and attractive catalysts used in polymer industries. The knowledge gained in this course will further help to design and develop appropriate catalyst systems to achieve tailored polymers, oligomers and other value added compounds.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: UG, PG, PhD students; Relevant industrial persons

PREREQUISITES: Basic organometallic chemistry

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: Polymer manufacturing industries
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 20 Feb 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST
Enrollment Ends : 20 Feb 2023
Category :
  • Chemistry
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: A brief overview of transition metal/organometallic catalysts in industrially important processes with special focus on polyolefin industrial synthesis. Introduction to the most attractive class of catalysts based on Metallocene and Metal-carbene compounds; Structural variation with metal ions and ligands.
Week 2: Metallocene compounds: Synthesis, structural parameters, bonding, unique properties and reactivity; Evaluation of metallocene (Group 4 metals) catalysts in olefin polymerization.
Week 3: Understanding the polymerization mechanism; Choice and role of co-catalysts (aluminium and boron based); Strategic development of metallocene catalysts for tailored and high molecular weight LDPE, LLDPE, ethylene-α-olefin copolymers; Superiority over Ziegler-Natta catalysts.
Week 4: Controlling stereoregularity in polyolefin by Zr(IV)-metallocene catalysts: Designing and choice of ligands; Metallocene symmetry; Catalysts site control and chain end control mechanism; Correlation between symmetry of metallocene and stereo-regularity/microstructure/physical properties of the polyolefin.
Week 5: Supported metallocene catalysts for commercial process; Ti(IV) based constrained geometry catalysts for high molecular weight polyolefin: design, structure and mechanism; A brief discussion on dual role of metallocene catalysts in depolymerization - a highly demanding aspect at current time.
Week 6: Metal-carbene and alkylidene complexes - a unique class of organometallic compounds with M=C bond: Synthesis, structure, bonding, unique properties and reactivity.
Week 7: Metathesis reaction by metal carbene /alkylidene complexes (Ti, Mo, W, Ta, Ru) with special focus on ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of cyclic olefins by Shrock’s and Grubbs’ catalysts; Concept and mechanism of polymerization.
Week 8: Discussion on development of living ROMP by Grubbs catalyst through a systematic approach; Role of ligands; Versatility of Grubbs’ catalysts and compatibility towards functional groups and ring-strain of monomer; Well-defined copolymers by Grubbs’ catalyst and industrial importance.

Books and references

1. Organotransition Metal Chemistry: From Bonding to Catalysis by John F. Hartwig, University Science Books, ISBN 978-1-891389-53-5.
2. The Organometallic Chemistry of the Transition Metals, Sixth Edition by Robert H. Crabtree, Wiley, ISBN 978-1-118138-07-6.
3. Metallocene-based polyolefins-preparation, properties and technology, Vols 1 and 2. J. Scheirs and W.Kaminsky (Eds). John Wiley & Sons, Chichester,2000. Vol. 1 & 2, ISBN 0-471-98086-22.
4. Principles of Polymerization by G. Odian, John Wiley & Sons, 4th Ed., 2004, ISBN 9780471274001.

Instructor bio

Prof. Sanjib K. Patra

IIT Kharagpur
Prof. Sanjib K. Patra completed his Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry in 2007 from Dept. of Chemistry, IIT Kanpur. After that, he did his postdoctoral research as Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Prof. Ian Manners’ group at University of Bristol (UK). Subsequently (Dec, 2011), he joined as assistant professor at Dept. of Chemistry, IIT Kharagpur. Currently, he is associate professor at IIT Kharagpur. The area of his research is interdisciplinary in nature comprising the fields of synthetic inorganic, organometallic, polymer and materials chemistry. The main interest of research is on synthesis and characterization of multifunctional materials. He teaches Inorganic, Organometallic, Polymer Chemistry, and Catalysis to UG/PG/PhD students at IIT Kharagpur.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 29 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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