In order to clarify the relationship between excimer laser fluence gradient and the length of lateral grain growth, the laser fluence is modulated by a beam mask. The fluence distribution is measured by using a negative UV photoresist. The lateral growth length and the grain directionality are improved with increasing fluence gradient. Lateral growth length of about 1.5 [.proportional]m is achieved by using a single laser pulse without substrate heating on a 50 nm-thick a-Si film by enforcing high fluence gradient. Electrical conductance measurement is used to probe the solidification dynamics. The lateral solidification velocity is found to be about 7 m/s.