• copper(II) complexes;
  • electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy;
  • hydrazone ligands;
  • variable-temperature magnetic studies


The reactions of the tridentate hydrazone ligand, N′-[1-(pyridin-2-yl)ethylidene]acetohydrazide (HL), obtained by condensation of 2-acetylpyridine with acetic hyadrazide, with copper nitrate trihydrate in the presence of thiocyanate, or with CuCl2 produce two distinct coordination compounds, namely a one-dimensional helical coordination chain of [CuL(NCS)]n (1) units, and a doubly chlorido-bridged dinuclear complex [Cu2L2Cl2] (2) (where L=CH3C(O)=N[BOND]N=CCH3C5H4N). Single-crystal X-ray structural determination studies reveal that in complex 1, a deprotonated hydrazone ligand L coordinates a copper(II) ion that is bridged to two neighbouring metal centres by SCN anions, generating a one-dimensional helical coordination chain. In complex 2, two symmetry-related, adjacent copper(II) coordination entities are doubly chlorido-bridged, producing a dicopper entity with a Cu⋅⋅⋅Cu distance of 3.402 (1) Å. The two coordination compounds have been fully characterised by elemental analysis, spectroscopic techniques including IR, UV–vis and electron paramagnetic resonance, and variable-temperature magnetic studies. The biological effects of 1 and 2 on the viability of human colorectal carcinoma cells (COLO-205 and HT-29) were evaluated using an MTT assay, and the results indicate that these complexes induce a decrease in cell-population growth of human colorectal carcinoma cells with apoptosis.