Two new heterodinuclear Schiff base complexes, [Hg(L)NiCl2(DMF)(2)] 1, and [Zn(L)NiCl2(DMF)(2)] 2, where H2L = N,N'-bis(salicylidene)-1,3-diaminopropane and DMF = dimethylformamide have been synthesized and characterized using elemental analysis, IR spectroscopy, thermal analysis and X-ray diffraction. Structural studies on 1 and 2 reveal the presence of a heterodinuclear [(NiHgII)-Hg-II] unit and [(ZnNiII)-Ni-II] in which the central metal ions are connected to each other by two phenolate oxygen bridges. For complex 1 the Ni(II) ion adopts an elongated octahedral geometry (NiN2O4) while the Hg(II) ion assumes a distorted tetrahedral arrangement (HgO2Cl2) whereas for complex 2 the Zn(II) ion adopts an elongated octahedral geometry (ZnN2O4) while the Ni(II) ion assumes a distorted tetrahedral arrangement (NiO2Cl2). There are intermolecular C-H center dot center dot center dot Cl-M interactions among the dinuclear complexes which are interconnected for 1 and 2. These intermolecular interactions result in the formation of a three dimensional structure for 1 and one dimensional zig-zag chains for 2. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.