Epitaxial crystallization and crystalline polymorphism of polylactides

L. Cartier, T. Okihara, Y. Ikada, H. Tsuji, J. Puiggali, B. Lotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

483 Citations (Scopus)


Two crystal phases of poly(L-lactide) and that of the racemate of poly(L-lactide) and poly(D-lactide) can be grown epitaxially on one and the same crystalline substrate, hexamethylbenzene (HMB), which had been shown by Zwiers et al. to form a eutectic with these polymers. The stable α-crystal modification of the optically active polymer, based on a 103 helix conformation (for PDLA; 107 for PLLA), is obtained for Tc near 155 °C. A new crystal modification is produced by epitaxial crystallization at slightly lower Tc (≈140 °C). The crystal structure of this new form is established by electron diffraction and packing energy analysis. Two antiparallel helices are packed in an orthorhombic unit-cell of parameters a = 9.95 angstroms, b = 6.25 angstroms and c = 8.8 angstroms. The racemate of poly(L-lactide) and poly(D-lactide) also crystallize epitaxially (at ≈165 °C) on HMB, which appears to be a very versatile substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8909-8919
Number of pages11
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Sept 8 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Crystal structure
  • Epitaxy
  • Polylactide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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