The incorporation of transition metal moieties into polymer backbones or side chains is known to produce magnetic, electric, liquid crystalline or catalytic properties. Recently, it was found that ceramics prepared from cobalt carbonyl-containing ferrocene compounds possess interesting ferromagnetic properties. This discovery supports the idea that the generation of organoiron-based polymers containing Co2(CO)6 have the potential to produce functional materials which exhibit unique electrical and magnetic properties. It is thought that the second metal will give the resulting compounds very unique properties.
Canadian researchers around Alaa S. Abd-El-Aziz now followed this idea and synthesized polymers that contain iron and cobalt. These polymers were designed as methacrylates due to the ease by which this group can be polymerized. Cobalt was introduced by post-modification of organoiron poly(alkynyl methacrylates) with dicobalt hexacarbonyl. The average number of iron species in the polymeric materials ranged from 30 to 50.
The introduction of the metallic moieties into polymethacrylates increases the possible applications of these interesting materials.