The characterization of poly(dihalophenylene oxide)s synthesized by solid-state thermal decomposition of manganese phenolate complexes with pyridine was achieved. The complexes prepared with different trihalophenols; 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (TCP), 2,4,6-tribromophenol (TBP), 2,6-dibromo-4-chlorophenol (2,6-DBCP), characterized by FTIR spectroscopy and C, H and N elemental analysis. The dependence of the polymerization yield on temperature and decomposition time of the complexes was investigated. Maximum polymerization yield was obtained at 190 degrees C, 48 h. The polymers synthesized from the complexes were characterized by H-1-NMR, FTIR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and viscometric measurements. All polymers were in branched structure, had high T-g and low intrinsic viscosity values. In poly(dibromophenylene oxide)s synthesized from the complex with TBP a small amount of linear structure was also observed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.