Epitaxial buffer layers of Ho2O3 on biaxially textured nickel were fabricated using a chelate (acetic acid) solution route as an alternative to the 2-methoxyethanol solution approach, which has demonstrated good texturing characteristics. Plan-view SEM studies of the films as a function of heat treatment temperature have shown that the holmium oxide film pyrolyzes into an open structure with a high level of interconnected porosity before densification, without significant film shrinkage in the thickness direction. Consolidation of the film started around 900°C along the backbone of the open structure and sintering to a dense film of uniform small crystallites (∼25 nm) was observed at higher temperature. The as-received nickel tapes displayed significant surface damage with a roughness on the order of 1000 Å. Electron backscattering analysis suggests that only 65% of the nickel grains were aligned along the (100) axis within 5°. Finally, STM studies of the nickel substrate have shown that small nickel oxide crystallites were formed on the surface when the substrate is in contact with air.