Thin films of the protein, lysozyme, have been deposited by the matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) technique. Frozen targets of 0.3-1.0 wt.% lysozyme dissolved in ultrapure water were irradiated by laser light at 355 mn with a fluence of 2 J/cm(2). The surface quality of the thin lysozyme films of different thickness deposited on 7 rum x 7 turn Si-(1 0 0) -wafers was investigated with scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Already at comparatively low thickness, similar to 20 nm, the substrate is covered by intact lysozyme molecules and fragments. The concentration of lysozyme in the ice matrix apparently does not play any significant role for the morphology of the film. The morphology obtained with MAPLE has been compared with results for direct laser irradiation of a pressed lysozyme sample (i.e. pulsed laser deposition (PLD)). (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.