The mononuclear cyclometalated Pd(II) complexes [Pd(L1)X] (HL1 = 6-phenyl-2,2'-bipyridine; X = Cl, la; Br, 1b; I, 1c), [Pd(L1)PPh3]+ (1d), [Pd(L2-5)Cl] [2a-5a, HL2-5 = 4-(aryl)-6-phenyl-2,2'-bipyridine; aryl = phenyl (2), 4-chlorophenyl (3), 4-tolyl (4), 4-methoxyphenyl (5)] and the binuclear derivatives [Pd2(L1-5)2(mu-dppm)]2+ (1e-5e, dppm = bis(diphenylphosphino)methane) and [Pd2(L1)2(mu-dppCs)]2+, (1f, dppC5 = 1,5-bis(diphenylphosphino)pentane) were prepared. The crystal structures of 1d(ClO4), 1e(ClO4)2 x DMF, and 2e(ClO4)2 have been determined by X-ray crystallography. The magnitude of the Pd-Pd distances in le and 2e (3.230(1) and 3.320(2) A, respectively) suggest minimal metal-metal interaction, although pi-stacking of the aromatic ligands (interplanar separations 3.34 and 3.35 A, respectively) is evident. All complexes display low-energy UV absorptions at lambda approximately 390 nm, which are tentatively assigned to 1MLCT transitions; red shifts resulting from Pd-Pd interactions in the binuclear species are not apparent. The complexes in this work are non-emissive at 298 K, but the cationic derivatives exhibit intense luminescence at 77 K. The structured emissions of 1d and 1f in MeOH/EtOH glass (lambdamax 467-586 nm) and all cationic species in the solid state (lambdamax 493-578 nm) are assigned to intraligand excited states. Complexes le-5e display dual emissions in MeOH/EtOH glass at 77 K, and the broad structureless bands at lambdamax 626-658 nm are attributed to pi-pi excimeric IL transitions. A comparison between the photophysical properties of Pd(II) and Pt(II) congeners is presented.