Polymorphs of cellulose I, III(I), and IV(I) have been investigated by X-ray diffraction, FT-IR, and solid-state (13)C NMR spectroscopy. Highly crystalline cellulose III(I) samples were prepared by treating cellulose samples in supercritical ammonia at 140 degrees C for 1 h, and conventional cellulose III(I) samples were prepared by liquid ammonia treatment. The cellulose IV(I) sample of highest crystallinity was that prepared from Cladophora cellulose III(I) in supercritical ammonia, followed by the sample treated in glycerol at 260 degrees C for 0.5 h, whereas the lowest crystallinity was observed in ramie cellulose prepared by conventional liquid ammonia treatment followed by glycerol annealing. In general, the perfection of cellulose IV(I) depends on the crystallinity of the original material: either of the starting cellulose I or of the cellulose III(I) after ammonia treatment. The product thus obtained was analogous to cellulose I(beta), which is what it should be called rather than cellulose IV(I). If the existence of the polymorph cellulose IV(I) is not accepted, the observations on which it has been based may be explained by the fact that the structure termed cellulose IV(I) is cellulose I(beta) which contains lateral disorder.