In this study the synthesis and characterization of poly(dihalophenylene oxide) was achieved. Polymers were obtained from zinc phenolate complexes with ethylenediamine and pyridine ligands by the solid-state thermal decomposition method. The complexes, prepared with 2,4,6-tricholorophenol and 2,4,6-tribromophenol, were characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, TGA curves and C,H,N elemental analysis. The dependence of polymerization yield on temperature and the decomposition time of the complexes was investigated. Maximum polymerization yields were obtained between 180 and 200 degreesC over 48 h. The polymers were characterized by H-1-NMR, FTIR spectroscopy, DSC and viscometric measurements. The polymers had branched and linear structures with high T-g and low intrinsic viscosity values. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.