Abstract:The microstructure of sputter-deposited La0.72Ca0.28MnO3 (LCMO) films on LaAlO3 (0 0 1) substrates was studied by X-ray scattering and atomic force microscopy. The design of the LCMO films with various degrees of lattice modulation was realized by varying the film thickness and the process conditions. The strain state importantly affects the variation among the surface microstructures of the LCMO epilayers. The LCMO textured film is rougher at both the surface and interface than the epitaxially grown films. The modifications of magneto-transport properties of manganite thin films were discussed in relation to changes in the degree of lattice modulation.