A new type of maleimide monomer, N-(4-acetylphenyl)maleimide (NAPMI), was synthesized. The oxime, carbazone, and thiosemicarbazone derivatives of NAPMI were prepared with hydroxylamine hydrochloride, semicarbazide hydrochloride, and thiosemicarbazide hydrochloride, respectively. Radical homopolymerization of NAPMI and its derivatives were prepared at 60 degreesC in dimethyl sulfoxide solution with azobisisobutyronitrile as an initiator. The monomers and theirs homopolymers were characterized with Fourier transform infrared and NMR techniques. The glass-transition temperatures, thermal stability, and ultraviolet stability of the polymers are compared. The activation energies of the thermal degradation of polymers were calculated by the Kissinger method. The antibacterial and antifungal effects of the monomers and polymers were also investigated on various bacteria and fungi. (C) 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.