Highly crystalline copper nitride (Cu3N) thin films have been deposited on glass substrates at room temperature by a novel and commercially viable growth technique, known as modified activated reactive evaporation (MARE). The effects of change in radio frequency (RF) power and deposition pressure on the structural and optical properties of the films have been investigated. RF power plays a significant role for the preferential growth of these films along a particular plane whereas the deposition pressure has comparatively lesser impact on the same. However, the lattice parameter, film thickness and optical band gap are found to be strongly dependent on the deposition pressure. The MARE grown Cu3N films undergo complete decomposition into metallic Cu upon vacuum annealing at 400 °C which makes them promising candidates to be used in write once optical recording media. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.