Abstract The simple and highly sensitive determination of palladium is based on the reaction between Pd(II)/5-Br-PADAP and Zn(II) DBDTC complexes in 1,2-dichloroethane or toluene at pH 9.7. At 530 nm, the molar absorptivity is about 0.8 × 10 5 l mol −1 cm −1. Beer's law is obeyed in the concentration range 0.1–1.2 μg ml −1 Pd. Relative standard deviations are 2–5%. Metal ions reacting with either of the organic reagents interfere.