A 80 nm 2 at% Co-doped GaAs thin film was deposited on a glass substrate under a high vacuum condition by means of the thermionic vacuum arc technique using GaAs and Co pellets as source materials. Tools and techniques such as an optical reflectometer, XRD, UV-VIS-NIR spectrophotometer, FESEM, EDX, and AFM were employed to investigate some of the physical properties of the produced film. From the optical investigations, the refractive index at 632.8 nm and optical band gap of the film were determined to be 3.60 and 1.42 eV respectively. XRD characterization indicated that the film contained GaAs and Co phases. A uniform surface morphology with fine grain covering the entire surface was observed through the FESEM and AFM studies, while 30 nm grain size and 2.72 nm root mean square roughness were obtained. The EDX analysis also confirmed the presence of Ga, As and Co in the film. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.