Abstract Chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of the superconducting 2:2:1:2 phase in the Bi-Sr-Ca-Cu-O system from different metalorganic precursors is thermodynamically investigated. Both precursors without fluorine and fluorine-containing precursors were employed. The oxygen source was O 2, H 2O, O 2+H 2O or N 2O. The effect of different deposition parameters on the extension of the region where the 2:2:1:2 phase can be deposited is studied, and the results are presented in calculated CVD stability diagrams. For precursors containing no fluorine, the best conditions were obtained by using N 2O as the oxygen source and by using a low total pressure. For fluorine-containing precursors, the best conditions were obtained using a mixture of O 2 and H 2O as the oxygen source. Moreover, the size of the region where the 2:2:1:2 phase can be deposited is reduced compared to when precursors without fluorine are used. The results of the thermodynamic calculations are found to agree well with experimental results.