A dicyanamide bridged 2D polynuclear complex of copper(II) having molecular formula [Cu-2(L) (mu(1,5)-dca)(2)](n) (1) has been synthesized using the Schiff base ligand N,N'-bis(salicylidene)-1,3-diaminopentane, (H2L) and sodium dicyanamide (dca). The complex presents a 2D hexagonal structure formed by 1,5-dca singly bridged helical chains connected through double 1,5-dca bridges. The chelating characteristics of the H2L Schiff base ligand results in the formation of copper(II) dimer with a double phenoxo bridge presenting a very strong antiferromagnetic coupling in the copper(II) derivative (1) (J = -510 cm(-1)). The dimeric asymmetric unit of 1 is very similar to the active site of the catechol oxidase and, as expected, also presents catalytic activity for the oxidation of 3,5-di-tert-butylcatechol to 3,5-ditert-butylquinone in presence of O-2, as demonstrated by kinetic studies of this oxidation reaction monitored by absorption spectroscopy resulting in high turnover number (K-cat = 259 h(-1)). (C) 2011 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.