The cyano-bridged heteronuclear complexes [Zn(etim)(2)Pd(mu-CN)(4)](n) (1) and [Cd(etim)(2)Pd(mu-CN)(4)](n) (2) (etim = 1-ethylimidazole), have been synthesized and characterized by FT-IR, Raman spectroscopy, thermal and elemental analyses. The crystal structures of the complexes have been determined by X-ray single crystal diffraction. In the complexes, the Pd(II) ion is coordinated by four cyano ligands, forming a square-planar geometry, and the Zn(II) or Cd(II) ions are coordinated by six N atoms from four bridging cyano ligands and two etim ligands in a distorted octahedral geometry. The most important features of the complexes are the presence of C-H center dot center dot center dot Pd hydrogen-bonding interactions between the Pd(II) ion and the hydrogen atoms of the etim ligand. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.