Abstract The microstructures of epitaxial deposits of (111) Cu/(111) Au and (111) Au/(111) Cu at various stages of interdiffusion are described. The most prominent microstructural features of Au/Cu films (where gold deposition occurred at temperatures less than 400 °C) were (Matthews) coincidence lattice misfit dislocations lying along < 1 1 0 > directions in the film plane with |b| = a 2 < 110 > directed out of the film plane. Their spacings, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) hot stage behavior and generation mechanisms are discussed. For more severe diffusion anneals, the coincidence dislocation density decreased and hexagonal networks identified as ( van der Merwe) natural lattice misfit dislocations became resolvable. They are edge type (lying along <11 2 > directions in the film plane) with |b| = a 2 < 1 10 > . For the case of Cu/(111) Au bilayers, copper deposited at and below 315 °C with a 20 min anneal again showed coincidence misfit networks. Higher temperature deposition of copper (or hot stage annealing) resulted in natural lattice misfit dislocations in the microstructure. The densities of both types of dislocations were determined and their TEM hot stage behavior was investigated. The method by which the two networks contribute to the relief of misfit strain in both bilayers is discussed.