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A phthalonitrile compound having the formula below. The value n is a positive integer. Each R has a hydrocarbon chain optionally having —O— or —SiR′2—O—. Each R′ is an aliphatic group. Each Ar is an aromatic group with the proviso that Ar contains at least two aromatic rings when n is 1 and R is an alkylene group. A method of: reacting an excess of a dihydroxyaromatic compound with a dihalocompound to form an oligomer; and reacting the oligomer with 4-nitrophthalonitrile to form the phthalonitrile compound, where Ar is an aromatic group.