Copper oxide thin films deposited on Si (100) by a filtered cathodic vacuum arc with and without substrate bias have been studied by atomic force microscopy, x-ray diffraction (XRD), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy. The results show that the substrate bias significantly affects the surface morphology, crystalline phases and texture. In the film deposited without bias, two phases—cupric oxide (CuO) and cuprous oxide (Cu2O)—coexist as cross-evidenced by XRD, XPS and Raman analyses, whereas CuO is dominant concurrent with CuO (020) texture in the film deposited with bias. The film deposited with bias exhibits a more uniform and clearer surface morphology although both kinds of films are very smooth. Some explanations are given as well.