Herein, we report facile procedures for synthesis of a new Schi base ligand
(H2L,5-Diethylamino-2-({2-[(2-hydroxy-benzylidene)-amino]-phenylimino}-methyl)-phenol) and its
Ag(I), Pd(II) and Cu(II) complexes. The structure of the H2L ligand as well as its metal complexes
was deduced based on wide range of analytical, structural and spectroscopic tools, along with
theoretical evidence via density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The obtained results indicated
that the Schi base (H2L) ligand acts as a tetradentate N2O2 donor with two azomethine nitrogen’s
(N1, N2) and two deprotonated phenolic oxygens (O1, O2) atoms. A distorted octahedral structure is
assigned to [CuL(OH2)2]3/2H2O complex and square planar structure for PdL and AgL complexes.
The electronic structure and non-linear optical (NLO) property of the prepared compounds were
discussed theoretically by the B3LYP/GENECP program. Results revealed that all complexes have
non-planner geometries as indicated from the dihedral angles. The charge transfer occurs within
the synthesized complexes as indicated from the calculated energy gap between HOMO and LUMO
energies. The H2L ligand and its complexes are excellent candidates for NLO materials as implied
from their hyperpolarizabilities and polarizabilities values. The biological activities of the prepared
complexes against selected microorganisms and cancer cell lines gave good growth inhibitory e ect.
The biocidal potencies of the ligand and its complexes can be arranged as follows: AgL > CuL >
PdL > H2L, as compared to the used standard drugs. The antiproliferative activity of the studied
complexes against di erent carcinoma cell lines such as liver (Hep-G2), breast (MCF-7) and colon
(HCT-116) followed the order H2L < AgL< PdL < CuL < vinblastine. Probing the binding interactions
of prepared complexes with calf thymus (CT)-DNA using electronic absorption, gel electrophoresis
and viscosity measurements revealed strong interaction via intercalation modes, as also evidenced by
their molecular docking study.