Single-component films of ceramic materials (Al2O3, ZrO2, BN) as well as multi- component films and films with controlled inhomogeneity (ZrO2, Ti) were deposited at different laser parameters (wavelength, fluence, mode of operation) and processing variables (processing gas pressure and composition, rf bias, target-substrate distance). The investigations include microbalance measurements of the weight loss of the target as a measure of mass removal as well as high-speed photography and emission spectroscopy as a measure of geometry, dynamics and excitation of the vapor/plasma state generated. The morphology, structure and composition of the films were investigated by SEM, XPS, AES and SAM, revealing a broad variety of different film properties useful for applications. Al2O3 films deposited with pulsed CO2 and excimer laser radiation are dense and glassy. ZrO2 films deposited with CO2 laser radiation show columnar structures. BN films deposited with excimer laser radiation consist of hexagonal BN crystallites embedded in an amorphous matrix. Thin films produced with excimer laser radiation show a nearly flat and defect free surface allowing the construction of multilayer systems and graded or homogeneous doped layers.