Films of ytterbium doped with iron (0.3-1.6 at.% Fe) have been prepared by co-deposition of atomic beams of the elements onto Kapton substrates under high vacuum. Iron is immiscible in ytterbium and various iron species are expected to occur. XRD reveals a mixture of fcc and hcp ytterbium. The Mössbauer spectra are interpreted with contributions from monomeric iron on interstitial sites, two types of neighboring substitutional iron aggregates and two types of clusters formed upon diffusion. The present data supplement earlier data obtained for 0.5 and 5 at.% Fe. There is no systematic correlation of cluster formation with increasing iron concentration. There are indications that clusters are formed more easily for thin films. We conclude that cluster formation occurs mainly on the film surface and is limited by the slow diffusion from inside films. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.