The protonation constants of two nitro-Schiff bases SB1, SB2 and three asymmetric tetradentate diimines H2L1, H2L2 and H2L3 and the stability constants of their ML type binuclear Ni(II) and Fe(III) complexes have been determined potentiometrically. The asymmetric diimines are (2OH) R-CH=N-C6H4-CH=N-R' (2OH) type compounds [where R = R' = phenyl for H2L1; R= naphthyl, R' = phenyl for H2L2 and R = R' = naphthyl for H2L3]. The effect of tautomeric forms on the acid-base properties of the diimines has been investigated and discussed. In addition, dimeric and binuclear Ni(II) and Fe(III) complexes of the diimines have been synthesized and characterized by physical and spectroscopic techniques. Also, in vitro antimicrobial activities of the diimines and the complexes have been evaluated against three bacteria: Micrococcus luteus (NRLL B-4375), Bacillus cereus (RSKK 863), Escherichia coli (ATCC 11230) and the fungus: Candida albicans (ATCC 10239). (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University.