In this study a new approach, based on modification of surfaces by energetic ion bombardment produced through cathodic arc plasma was utilized for the production of bulk Cu-Al compounds. Alloying was done in a cyclic manner by depositing aluminum under low bias voltages, and then by enhancing diffusion/mixing by applying a high bias voltage (bombarding). During the bombarding step, substrate temperatures in a range of 750-800 degrees C can be achieved depending on the duration in a time scale of seconds where copper foils with 25 mu m thickness were used as substrates. For homogenization of the as-processed samples, a vacuum annealing heat treatment was applied at 700 degrees C for 24 h. Single phase alpha(1)-Cu solid solution, and gamma(1)-Al(4)Cu(9), delta-Al(2)Cu(3), and zeta(2)-Al(3)Cu(4) intermetallics were successfully produced. Structural and surface/cross sectional investigations of the samples were conducted with XRD, SEM and EDS measurements. The micro-hardness of the phases, was also determined. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.