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A pulsed laser deposition (PLD) oscillating target scanning technique, in which the laser ablates the target from opposing directions as the deposition proceeds, is described and compared to the conventional technique of target rotation over a cumulative ablation exposure of ∼1500 shots/site. Using conventional rotation the plume direction is eventually displaced by 6° while both the number density and size of PLD associated particles increase. In contrast, the oscillating technique results in a spatially stable plume (displacement ≪2°) while the particle density and size both decrease. This technique allows one to operate in a steady state mode without routine target maintenance, improves plume ‘‘walk off,’’ and deposition reproducibility while decreasing the production of particles. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.