PhD Defence: Characterization of Supported Metallocene Catalysts for Ethylene Polymerization

Congratulations to Dr. Silvia Zanoni for her great defence of her PhD work: “Characterization of Supported Metallocene Catalysts for Ethylene Polymerization” on September 6th. Wishing you all success!

This project aimed to a thorough investigation of the support role in the polymerization reaction catalyzed by metallocenes, in order to understand the mechanism behind the significant boost in activity when employing specific modified supports. The interaction between these modified supports, activator and metallocene will be studied by different spectroscopic techniques, such as UV-Vis-NIR, IR and Raman spectroscopy. The goal is to understand how such modified supports influence the activation efficiency of the catalyst.

Furthermore, support fragmentation occurs during the reaction and, as the polymerization proceeds, the support fragments are dispersed within the growing polymer. It is hypothesized that these modified supports lead to an easier fragmentation, positively affecting the activity of the catalyst. To investigate the matter, the support fragmentation in the early stages of the reaction will be followed by synchrotron-based techniques (STXM and TXM).