AbstractThe potential of using crystallinity as morphological parameter to control polyester degradation in acidic environments is explored in ultrathin films by Langmuir technique. Films of hydroxy or methacrylate end-capped oligo(ε-caprolactone) (OCL) are prepared at the air–water interface as a function of mean molecular area (MMA). The obtained amorphous, partially crystalline or highly crystalline ultrathin films of OCL are hydrolytically degraded at pH ~ 1.2 on water surface or on silicon surface as-transferred films. A high crystallinity reduces the hydrolytic degradation rate of the films on both water and solid surfaces. Different acceleration rates of hydrolytic degradation of semi-crystalline films are achieved either by crystals complete melting, partially melting, or by heating them below their melting temperatures. Semi-crystalline OCL films transferred via water onto a solid surface retain their crystalline morphology, degrade in a controlled manner, and are of interest as thermoswitchable coatings for cell substrates and medical devices.