A series of experiments have been performed to examine the ability of ion beam assisted thermal deposition to produce good adhesion of Au metallization on GaAs <100> substrates. A study of the influence of Ar ion-assisted thermal deposition of the Au films as well as in situ pre-sputtering of the GaAs surface with low-energy Ar ions prior to thermal deposition, shows that strong adhesion can be achieved without resorting to chemical cleaning. The substrate temperature and the relative flux of Ar ions to incident Au atoms were varied in order to correlate these parameters with film adhesion. The interfaces of films processed under these various conditions were examined by XTEM, RBS and XPS. Orientation texture was studied by x-ray diffraction (XRD).