Cu-cotton fabrics were functionalized by bipolar asymmetric DC-pulse magnetron sputtering (DCP). The DCP of Cu-particles on cotton proceeds at a higher energy than DC-magnetron sputtering (DC). The different sputtering mode showed effects on the structure of the Cu-film on the textile. The Cu-layer thickness was observed to be a function of DCP time being the rate of atomic deposition of 2.5 x 10(15) atoms/cm(2) s at 300 mA. The fastest Escherichia coil inactivation was observed within 10 min when Cu was sputtered on cotton Cu for 60 s. This led to a film thickness of 30 nm (150 Cu-layers) with 1.7 x 10(17) atoms/cm(2). The Cu-textiles became darker at longer sputtering times as detected by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). By transmission electron spectroscopy (TEM), Cu-particles 35-50 nm in size were found and became more compact on the cotton surface as a function of deposition time. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used to determine the surface atomic concentration of O, Cu C, and N along the states of oxidation of the Cu-ions during the redox process leading to E. coil inactivation. The oxidation of the E. coil on the Cu-cotton surface was a function of reaction time and was monitored by the oxidation index of the carbon species on the fabric according to the ratio: (C-OH)/(C-C, C=C, C-H). The increase in hydrophobicity of the Cu-cotton was followed as a function of the contact angle and droplet residence time for different samples. The results obtained for the E. coli inactivation on the Cu-films are discussed suggesting a possible reaction mechanism. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.