Pulsed laser deposition in an inert ambient gas allows for producing cluster-assembled films whose constituent building
blocks are atom aggregates with size ranging from a few to several thousands of atoms. The choice of the deposition
parameters, such as gas pressure, laser energy density and target to substrate distance, affects cluster size and size
distribution. By controlling these critical parameters the features of film surface can be managed at the scale of tens of
nanometers, or less. We introduce a mixed propagation model, based on a modification of the diffusion and the drag
models to calculate the size of clusters formed in the plume during its propagation. Model ingredients are quantities
directly deduced from available values of process parameters. The mixed propagation model is applied to interpret
experimental results on the synthesis of clusters of different elements.