The growth of highly oriented Pt(100) thin films on Si(100) substrates deposited by rf magnetron sputtering was studied using a MgO(100) seed layer. The effects of the sputtering parameters on the growth of the MgO(100) seed layer were investigated in order to obtain the deposition condition which gives the best crystalline quality of (100) oriented MgO thin films. A highly crystallized MgO(100) film was obtained at a substrate temperature of 425 degrees C, a rf power of 4.4 W/cm(2) and a pressure of 12.5 mTorr. The crystalline quality of the MgO film was greatly decreased when the Si substrate was oxidized. The degree of (100) preferred orientation of the Pt film deposited on a MgO(100)//Si(100) substrate was found to be sensitive to the thickness of the MgO(100) seed layer, which is explained by the thickness dependence of the crystalline quality and the surface roughness of the MgO seed layer. A highly oriented Pt(100) film, for which the I-200/(I-200+I-111) ratio was about 0.8, was obtained at 550 degrees C on a 50 nm thick MgO seed layer. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science S.A.