Two phenoxo bridged dinuclear Cu(II) complexes, [Cu2L 2(NO2)2] (1) and [Cu2L 2(NO3)2] (2) have been synthesized using the tridentate reduced Schiff-base ligand 2-[(2-dimethylamino-ethylamino)-methyl]- phenol (HL). The complexes have been characterized by X-ray structural analyses and variable-temperature magnetic susceptibility measurements. The structures of the two compounds are very similar having the same tridentate chelating ligand (L) and mono-dentate anionic ligand nitrite for 1 and nitrate for 2. In both complexes Cu(II) is penta-coordinated but the square pyramidal geometry of the copper ions is severely distorted (Addison parameter (τ) = 0.33) in 1 while the distortion is quite small (average τ = 0.11) in 2. These differences have marked effect on the magnetic properties of two compounds. Although both are antiferromagnetically coupled, the coupling constants (J = -140.8 and -614.7 cm-1 for 1 and 2, respectively) show that the coupling is much stronger in 2. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.