Fe(box)Cl2 and Fe(box)Cl3 (box = 1,1’-bis(4,4-dimethyl-1,3-oxazolin-2-yl)ethane) are efficient catalysts in atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) of styrene. The complex Fe(box)Cl2 exhibited good monomer conversion (55-60 mol-% in 24 h, 120 °C) and produced polymers with average molecular weight distribution (Mw/Mn) in the range 1.4-1.5. The polymerization of styrene was more efficiently controlled by Fe(box)Cl3 under reverse ATRP protocol using the 1,1,2,2-tetraphenyl-1,2-ethanediol (TPED) initiator: polydispersity values of 1.1, typical of a living catalyst, were reached at high monomer conversion (>70%).
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