Pulsed laser deposition has been used to grow highly oriented SrxBa1-xNb2O6 (SBN:x) on (001)MgO and miscut MgO (2° off 001 toward 100) in the presence of a pulsed O2 jet. The target stoichiometry was SBN:52±1.5%, but films grown at 700 °C were cation deficient and had a final composition of SBN:61±1.5%. Visually, the films were specular, but spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements showed they were highly absorbing, requiring a short anneal in O2 at 700 °C to make them fully transparent. Pole figure analysis indicated that a thick 626±1 nm film consisted of the characteristic antiphase domain structure of SBN, but four antiphase domains were found in a thin 185±1 nm film. However, the formation of these additional domains was suppressed in a 165±1 nm film grown on miscut MgO. Spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements have been made to measure surface and interface roughness, film thickness, as well as the spectroscopic refractive index and extinction coefficient of the films. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.