Abstract In this work, the potentiality of molecular beam epitaxy techniques to prepare epitaxial lanthanum aluminate (LaAlO 3) films on Si(0 0 1) is explored. We first demonstrate that the direct growth of LaAlO 3 on Si(0 0 1) is impossible : amorphous layers are obtained at temperatures below 600 °C whereas crystalline layers can be grown at higher temperatures but interfacial reactions leading to silicate formation occur. An interface engineering strategy is then developed to avoid these reactions. SrO and SrTiO 3 have been studied as buffer for the subsequent growth of LaAlO 3. Only partial LaAlO 3 epitaxy is obtained on SrO whereas high quality layers are achieved on SrTiO 3. However both SrO and SrTiO 3 appear to be unstable with respect of Si at the growth temperature of LaAlO 3 (700 °C). This leads to the formation of relatively thick amorphous interfacial layers. Despite their instability at high temperature, these processes could be used for the fabrication of twins-free LaAlO 3 templates on Si, and for the fabrication of complex oxide/Si heterostructures for various applications.