Epitaxial LaNiO3 (LNO) thin films with a pseudocubic perovskite structure were fabricated by pulsed laser deposition. The effects of processing the substrate temperature as well as oxygen pressure on the structure and surface electrical resistivity were analyzed. In the range of the substrate temperatures from 550 to 800 °C and oxygen pressure from 25 to 50 Pa studied in our experiments, all the films showed good orientation. The LNO thin film deposited at 700 °C in 35 Pa O2 exhibited the best quality of those films deposited in our conditions. Its average roughness is less than 10 nm and the surface electrical resistivity is about 5×10-5Ω cm, better than previously reported values. In addition, the surface morphology and resistivity versus temperature were also investigated. The present LNO films have good epitaxial structure, a smooth surface, and good electrical properties. © 1999 American Vacuum Society.