Ytterbium and iron-doped ytterbium films were prepared by vapor quenching on Kapton substrates at room temperature. Structural characterization was performed by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The aim was to study the microstructure of pure and iron-doped films and thereby to understand the effects induced by iron incorporation. A coexistence of face centered cubic and hexagonal close packed-like structures was observed, the cubic-type structure being the dominant contribution. There is an apparent thickness dependence of the cubic/hexagonal relative ratios in the case of pure ytterbium. Iron-clusters induce a crystalline texture effect, but do not influence the cubic/hexagonal volume fraction. A schematic model is proposed for the microstructure of un-doped and iron-doped films including the cubic- and hexagonal-like structures, as well as the iron distribution in the ytterbium matrix. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.