Poly(maleic anhydride-alt-acrylic acid) and its transition-metal complexes with Ni(II), Cu(II), and Cd(II) were synthesized. Poly(maleic anhydride-alt-acrylic acid) was characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), titration, viscometry, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric (TGA) analysis. The temperature dependence of the conductivity of the copolymer and polychelates of transition metals was investigated between 300 and 453 K. The polychelates and copolymers were also analyzed by using FTIR spectroscopy before and after transition point. The observed conductivity followed by a semiconductor behavior with increasing temperature is discussed in relation to the presence of transition-metal ions. (C) 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.