Polymer film deposition on agar in ambient air was achieved using the helium dielectric barrier discharge jet (DBD jet) fed with polymer precursors, and the bacterial growth inhibition due to the deposited film was observed. The DBD jet with precursor addition was more efficient at sterilization than a helium-only DBD jet. On the areas where polymer films cover the agar the bacterial growth was significantly inhibited. The inhibition efficacy showed dependence on the film thickness. The DBD jet without precursor also created a modified agar layer, which may slow the growth of some bacterial strains. Â© 2012 American Institute of Physics.