The mechanism of the growth of the dendrites in the Ni-Cu films is studied by comparing them with the aggregates obtained by Monte Carlo (MC) simulations according to the diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) model. The films were grown by electrodeposition. The structural analysis of the films carried out using the x-ray diffraction showed that the films have a face-centered cubic structure. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used for morphological observations and the film compositions were determined by energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. The observed SEM images are compared with the patterns obtained by MC simulations according to DLA model in which the sticking probability, P between the particles is used as a parameter. For all samples between the least and the densest aggregates in the films, the critical exponents of the density-density correlation functions, alpha were within the interval 0.160 +/- 0.005-0.124 +/- 0.006, and the fractal dimensions, D-f, varies from 1.825 +/- 0.006 to 1.809 +/- 0.008 according to the method of two-point correlation function. These values are also verified by the mass-radius method. The pattern with alpha and D-f within these intervals was obtained by MC simulations to DLA model while the sticking probability, P was within the interval from 0.35 to 0.40 obtained by varying P (1-0.001). The results showed that the DLA model in this binary system is a possible mechanism for the formation of the ramified pattern of Ni-Cu within the Ni-rich base part of the Ni-Cu films due to the diffusive characteristics of Cu. (C) 2009 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.