Plasma assisted vapor deposition has been used to synthesize tin-tin oxide coatings on stainless steel substrates. The effects of plasma assisted vapor-deposition process parameters have been investigated, using statistically designed experiments, the so-called response surface analysis. Substrate temperature, gas ratio and time were chosen to be the parameters, and three levels for each parameter were determined to understand their significance on thin film morphologies and amount of materials deposited. Temperature and time were found to be the effective parameters among the variables chosen. Increase in both temperature and time is seen to increase the coating weight. Oxygen presence in the plasma is observed to affect the surface morphology of the coatings by producing circular deposited clusters in the coatings. Added to this, increasing temperature causes clusters to become smaller, and the increase in time is seen to lead, to a larger cluster size. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.