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This study reports the details Escherichia coli inactivation kinetics on TiON and TiON-Ag films sputtered on polyester by direct current reactive magnetron sputtering (DC) and pulsed magnetron sputtering (DCP) in an Ar/N2 /O2 atmosphere. The use of TiON leads to bacterial inactivation avoiding leaching of Ag. The surface of TiON and TiON-Ag was characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), electron microscopy (EM), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and contact angle (CA) measurements. Evidence for the photocatalyst self-cleaning after the bacterial inactivation was shown by XPS, contact angle (CA) and the Zetasizer zeta-potential of the proteins. The photo-induced charge transfer from Ag2 O and TiO2 is discussed considering the relative positions of the electronic bands of the two oxides. An interfacial charge transfer mechanism (IFCT) for the photo-induced electron injection is suggested. The most suitable TiON coating sputtered on polyester was 70 nm thick and inactivated E. coli within 120 min under low intensity visible/actinic light (400–700 nm, 4 mW/cm2 ). TiON-Ag sputtered catalysts shortened E. coli inactivation to ∼55 min, since Ag accelerated bacterial inactivation due to its disinfecting properties. Evidence is presented for the repetitive performance within short times of the TiON and TiON-Ag polyester under low intensity visible light.