Germanium carbon films were prepared on ZnS substrates by reactive RF magnetron sput- tering of a Ge target in Ar and CH4 mixtures for IR antireflective and protective purposes. IR transmit- ttance spectra of the specimens were measured, with which H content in the films was investigated. The C and Ge contents and the atomic binding state were studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The results show that H involved in the films combine mainly with C at low substrate temperatures. IR absorption peaks caused by the C-H bonds decrease with increasing temperature, indicating the drop of the C-H bonds content in the film. At relatively low temperature the film is high in C content and low in refractive index; at high temperature the film is low in C content and high in refractive index. Both C-Ge and C-C bonds exist in the film and O impurity combines mainly with Ge.