Gadolinium scandate thin films deposited on silicon substrates using electron beam evaporation were investigated. Measurements with Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, high temperature x-ray diffraction, x-ray reflectometry, transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy were performed. A stoichiometric transfer of material from the source to the substrate in high vacuum could be demonstrated. Homogeneous, amorphous, and smooth films (root mean square surface roughness < 1 A) stable up to 1000 degrees C were obtained. Electrical characterization of capacitor stacks revealed a dielectric constant of approximate to 23, C-V curves with small hysteresises and low leakage current densities (770 mu A/cm(2) for a capacitance equivalent thickness of 1.5 nm). (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics.