A series of [Ru(bipy)(2)L](+) and [Ru(phen)(2)L](+) complexes where L is 2-[5-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-4H-1,2,4-triazol-3yl] pyridine (HL1) and 4-(5-pyridin-2-yl-4H-1,2,4-triazol-3-yl) benzene-1,2-diol (HL2) are reported. The compounds obtained have been characterised using X-ray crystallography, NMR, UV/Vis and emission spectroscopies. Partial deuteriation is used to determine the nature of the emitting state and to simplify the NMR spectra. The acid-base properties of the compounds are also investigated. The electronic structures of [Ru(bipy)(2)L1](+) and Ru(bipy)(2)HL1](2+) are examined using ZINDO. Electro and spectroelectrochemical studies on [Ru(bipy)(2)(L2)](+) suggest that proton transfer between the catechol and triazole moieties on L2 takes place upon oxidation of the L2 ligand.