Epitaxial Fe–Si(111) monolayer films and [Fe–Si(111)/Cr(111)]4 multilayer films were grown on Si(111) substrates by dc facing-targets sputtering. The thickness dependence of the Fe–Si layer and the Cr layer on the crystallinity and the magnetic properties was studied. In the case of Fe-7.2 wt% Si(111) monolayer films, excellent soft magnetic properties were observed in films thinner than 200 nm. The sudden deterioration of soft magnetic properties was observed at the thickness of 200 nm. Torque measurements of the films revealed that the increase of effective anisotropy energy caused the deterioration of soft magnetic properties. In the [Fe-7.2 wt% Si(111)/Cr(111)]4 multilayer films, permeability increased with increase of the Cr layer thickness, and excellent soft magnetic properties of multilayer films were obtained with a Cr layer thickness of 20 nm. Soft magnetic characteristics were improved in the multilayered structure compared with the monolayer film with identical total thickness of magnetic layers. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.