Epitaxial crystallization and crystalline polymorphism of polylactides

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

380 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. [Polymer 1983;24:167] to form a eutectic with these polymers. The stable a-crystal modification of the optically active polymer, based on a 103 helix conformation (for PDLA; 107 for PLLA), is obtained for T(c) near 155°C. A new crystal modification is produced by epitaxial crystallization at slightly lower T(c) (≃ 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 b = 6.25 Å and c = 8.8 Å. 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. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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



  • Crystal structure
  • Epitaxy
  • Polylactide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics

Cite this

Cartier, L., Okihara, T., Ikada, Y., Tsuji, H., Puiggali, J., & Lotz, B. (2000). Epitaxial crystallization and crystalline polymorphism of polylactides. Polymer, 41(25), 8909-8919.