Epitaxial cerium oxide buffer layers were deposited on biaxially-textured (001) Ni tape using reel-to-reel pulsed laser deposition in a vacuum chamber. Relationship between microstructure and deposition parameters was systematically studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). We found the optimal deposition parameters for CeO2 buffer layer which were quite suitable for preparing high-Jc YBCO films. The relationship between CeO2 layer thickness and crack formation has also been discussed.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.