The reflectance spectra and refractive index of Nd:YAG laser-oxidized SiO2 layers with thicknesses from 15 to 75 nm have been investigated with respect to the laser beam energy density and substrate temperature. Thickness and refractive index of films have been determined from reflectance measurements at normal light incidence in the spectral range 300-800 nm. It was found that the oxide-growth conditions at higher substrate temperatures and laser powers greater than 3.36 J cm(-2) provides a better film quality in terms of both optical thickness and refractive index. However, the refractive indices of the films are smaller in the whole spectral range studied as compared to that of conventional thermally grown SiO2. This might be due to the porous structure formed during the laser-assisted oxidation. The results suggest the need of post-oxidation annealing to improve the refractive indices of the films, suitable for Si-device applications. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.