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The thermal oxidation of thin copper films deposited on single-crystal silicon was studied by ellipsometry. The optical properties of the oxide layers grown at 420-470 K over a period of up to 150 min were found to vary with layer thickness in a complex manner. The results were analyzed in terms of single- and two-layer models. The oxidation kinetics were shown to follow a parabolic rate law. The apparent activation energies for different stages of oxidation were evaluated with allowance for the self-organization of the interfacial layer.