Abstract LaF 3 thin films were prepared by electron beam evaporation with different temperatures and deposition rates. Microstructure properties including crystalline structure and surface roughness were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and optical profilograph. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was employed to study the chemical composition of the films. Optical properties (transmittance and refractive index) and laser induce damage threshold (LIDT) at 355 nm of the films were also characterized. The effects of deposition rate and substrate temperature on microstructure, optical properties and LIDT of LaF 3 thin films were discussed, respectively.