New aromatic polyamides were synthesized by the microwave-assisted polycondensation of an optically active isosorbide-derived diamine with different diacyl chlorides in the presence of a small amount of N-methylpyrrolidinone. Polymers with inherent viscosities between 0.22 and 0.73 dL/g were obtained corresponding to molecular weights up to 140,000 g/mol. With interfacial polymerization or the Higashi method, lower molecular weight polymers were obtained with inherent viscosities in the range of 0.04–0.36 dL/g. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements clearly demonstrated the high thermal stability of these polymers (mp = 180–300 °C) and the absence of decomposition. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 43: 6480–6491, 2005
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