The new homodinuclear complexes 1–4 of the type [LMII
2Cl2], heterotrinuclear complexes 5 and 6 of the type [LMII
2SnIVCl6] where M = CuII, MnII, CoII, NiII and CuII and NiII, respectively have been synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis and various spectroscopic techniques. The homodinuclear complexes possess two different environments (N2 and N2O2donor sets) for holding the metal ions. The metal ion in N2 set exhibits square planar geometry with two chloride ions in the inner sphere but rhombic structure is found in tetradentate N2O2 Schiff base cavity while in heterotrinuclear complexes SnIV atom is in the octahedral environment. The interaction of complexes 1 and 5 with calf thymus DNA was carried out by absorption spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. The intrinsic binding constants (K
b) of complex 1 and 5 were determined as 3.2 × 103 M−1 and 9.6 × 103 M−1, respectively suggesting that complex 5 binds more strongly to CT-DNA than complex 1. Fluorescence studies along with viscosity measurements have also been checked to authenticate the binding of metal complexes with DNA.