The synthesis, characterization, and mesomorphic properties of a new series of Schiff bases 2a-h and metal complexes 1a-h-M are prepared and their mesomorphic properties studied. Two single crystallographic structures of 2d (n=12, m=1) and 1g-Pd (n=m=12) were determined by X-ray analysis. Both compounds crystallize in a triclinic space group P-1. A dimeric structure formed by intermolecular H-bonds in 2d was observed, giving nematic phase due to a better aspect ratio. The central geometry at Pd(2+) ion is nearly perfect square plane. All Schiff bases 2a-h formed N or/and SmC phases. The formation of mesophases of complexes 1a-h-M was strongly dependent on metal ions incorporated. All Cu(2+), Ni(2+) and Pd(2+) complexes exhibited N or/and SmC phase, respectively. However. Zn(2+) and Co(2+) complexes were not mesogenic. The lack of mesomorphism was probably attributed to a preferred tetrahedral geometry at Zn(2+) and Co(2+) over a square-planar geometry at Cu(2+) and Pd(2+). (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.