M-toluenesulfonamide, N,N'-1,2-ethanediylbis (a disulfonamide compound, mtsen) and [Cu(II)(phenanthroline)(2)]mtsen compounds were newly synthesized. The molecular structure of mtsen was investigated by using elemental analyses, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), dispersive Raman spectroscopy, H-1, C-13, heteronuclear chemical-shift correlation (HETCOR) and correlation spectroscopy (COSY) NMR spectroscopies. The FT-IR, dispersive Raman and far-infrared spectra of mtsen were recorded at room-temperature and discussed assisted with B3LYP/6-311G(d,p) level of theory along with scaled quantum mechanics force field (SQM-FF) method. Furthermore, H-1 and C-13 NMR analyses were performed at B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) theory level using gauge including atomic orbital (CIAO) method and compared with the experimental findings. Further analyses were also made for [Cu(II)(phenanthroline)(2)]mtsen complex by using elemental analysis, LC-MS, magnetic susceptibility; conductivity measurement and FT-IR. The antibacterial activities of synthesized compounds were studied against some Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria by using the microdilution and disk diffusion method. The biological activity screening showed that complex have more activity than ligand against the tested bacteria. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.