A new polymeric Schiff base containing formaldehyde and 2-thiobarbituric acid moieties was synthesized by the condensation of a monomeric Schiff base derived from 2-hydroxyacetophenone and hydrazine. Polymer–metal complexes were also synthesized by the reaction of the polymeric Schiff base with Mn(II), Co(II), Ni(II), Cu(II), and Zn(II) acetate. The polymeric Schiff base and its polymer–metal complexes were characterized with magnetic moment measurements, elemental analyses, and spectral techniques (infrared, 1H-NMR, and ultraviolet–visible). The thermal behaviors of these coordination polymers were studied by thermogravimetric analysis in a nitrogen atmosphere up to 800°C. The thermal data revealed that all of the polymer–metal complexes showed higher thermal stabilities than the polymeric Schiff base and also ascribed that the Cu(II) polymer–metal complex showed better heat resistant properties than the other polymer–metal complexes. The antimicrobial activity was screened with the agar well diffusion method against various selected microorganisms, and all of the polymer–metal complexes showed good antimicrobial activity. Among all of the complexes, the antimicrobial activity of the Cu(II) polymer–metal complex showed the highest zone of inhibition because of its higher stability constant and may be used in biomedical applications. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011
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