Be 3 N 2 thin films have been grown on Si(1 1 1) substrates using the pulsed laser deposition method at different substrate temperatures: room temperature (RT), 200 °C, 400 °C, 600 °C and 700 °C. Additionally, two samples were deposited at RT and were annealed after deposition in situ at 600 °C and 700 °C. In order to obtain the stoichiometry of the samples, they have been characterized in situ by X-ray photoelectron (XPS) and reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy (REELS). The influence of the substrate temperature on the morphological and structural properties of the films was investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results show that all prepared films presented the Be 3 N 2 stoichiometry. Formation of whiskers with diameters of 100-200 nm appears at the surface of the films prepared with a substrate temperature of 600 °C or 700 °C. However, the samples grown at RT and annealed at 600 °C or 700 °C do not show whiskers on the surface. The average root mean square (RMS) roughness and the average grain size of the samples grown with respect the substrate temperature is presented. The films grown with a substrate temperature between the room temperature to 400 °C, and the sample annealed in situ at 600 °C were amorphous; while the αBe 3 N 2 phase was presented on the samples with a substrate temperature of 600 °C, 700 °C and that deposited with the substrate at RT and annealed in situ at 700 °C. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.